I'm a soul inside a body - I'm not a commodity
Remedy Drive—born independent, shuffled to different labels when acclaim didn’t equal sales, and now taking the Kickstarter route—deserves respect for beating the industry blues and not giving up on its sophisticated rock music dream. Better yet, the Nebraska band’s determination has led to new purpose on Commodity, a conceptual set inspired by lead singer David Zach’s recent undercover mission work in Southeast Asia against human trafficking. This album raises awareness and the bar on creativity; it would’ve fit right in with the socio-spiritual best of Peter Gabriel, U2, and Simple Minds in the 1980s.
Thematically, Commodity fits Zach’s vision; he hopes it “will sound like a captive’s dream of liberty—a defiant reminder that in the King’s kingdom the oppressed can find refuge, a child soldier can find safety, the trafficked daughter in the red light district can return to her innocence.” Thus we hear the truth in the title track’s declaration: I’m a soul inside a body / I’m not a commodity, the disgust in “The Wings of the Dawn”: They’re taking beautiful and making it cheap / squeeze the soul, break the heart, steal the beat, and the hope in “Under the Starlight”: Maybe we can tear a little corner off the darkness.
Indeed, Commodity brings light while sonically matching the heavy air of its subject. The rising melody of “Commodity” is a heart’s cry poured over a muddy rhythm—something Switchfoot might attempt. The cleverly worded “Dear Life”—about the emptiness felt on this crowded earth—couples twinkling keyboards with a fuzzy bass guitar. The rapped verses of “Under the Starlight” spit stark opposites (Kalashnikovs, eight year olds . . .) before a lilting ‘70s pop chorus arrives. “The Wings of the Dawn” adds an angelic children’s choir to an industrial account of child sex slavery. It’s hopeful and harrowing.
Despite the focused theme, Remedy Drive diversifies on occasion with good results. The worshipful “King of Kings” features the honeyed harmonies of special guest All Sons & Daughters. Two instrumental pieces—“June” and “The Sides of the North”—give listeners well-timed opportunities to decompress from the tough issues at hand. “Take Cover” reads like a needed lullaby, and “The Cool of the Day” imagines how peaceful the world used to be.
Albums like Commodity used to be easier to find than they are today. Don’t miss this noble effort that ultimately achieves pop without pretentiousness.
The title-cut and debut single, a stirring anti-slavery anthem, recently spent seven weeks atop the BDS Christian Rock chart, marking the longest charting #1 rock hit in Remedy Drive’s career.
Inspired by David Zach’s trips to Southeast Asia working alongside The Exodus Road—a nonprofit coalition fighting sex slavery through covert investigation and rescue—additional highlights of Commodity include “Dear Life,” “Take Cover,” “Love Is Our Weapon,” and “When A Soul’s Set Free,” among others.
“This album is dedicated to the children being taken against their will and forced to fight as child soldiers or to sell their bodies in the red light districts around the world,” says David Zach. “It’s also dedicated to the undercover operatives of The Exodus Road and the growing number of ordinary people who are joining forces to combat the sale of human beings. We hope these songs of freedom will add to the soundtrack of the resistance.”
Comprised of founder and lead vocalist David Zach, along with guitarist Dave Mohr, bassist Corey Horn, and drummer Tim Buell, Remedy Drive has garnered 10 Top 20 singles and released nine critically-acclaimed recordings since its inception in 1998. “Resuscitate Me,” from the band’s 2012 release, Resuscitate, spent five weeks atop the Christian Rock chart and was nominated for a 2013 GMA Dove Award for Rock Song of the Year. In addition, “Daylight” was featured in the recent motion picture “The Perfect Summer,” while music from Remedy Drive has been utilized on NBC, SpeedTV and VH1. The band has toured with such artists as MercyMe, David Crowder Band, Family Force 5 and The Digital Age, among others.
For further information, visit remedydrive.com or turningpointpr.com. Follow the band on Twitter @RemedyDrive.