Yep, it’s Christian metal.
Christian metal has long been a joke. At best, bands who believe are fifth columnists, intent on luring cool black-clad fans of evil over to the priests, by lulling us into a false sense of rock with their vast riffola and then sneaking in dangerous lyrics about the aceness of little baby Jesus. At worst, they just suck.
Thus, Southern Californian Latinocore heavy men [a]POD[/a] pose a problem. They are rather good. Zack-alike singer Sonny, classically trained guitarist Marcos, bassist Traa and drummer Wuv are, however, also big on the made-up chap who pulls the world’s strings from his cloud. These conflicting states collide on ‘Alive’, [a]POD[/a]’s breakthrough single. It’s a glowering, titanium-plated anthem, that takes up nu metal where [a]Linkin Park[/a] left off. It’s also a big, soppy love song to God.
They often know him as Jah, which helps: and here’s former Bad Brain HR, a punk legend who got Jah, and lost it completely. His freewheeling outbursts on the hardcore ‘Without Jah, Nothin’ are made more entertaining by the knowledge that he brought his pet parakeets into the studio.
When they are at their best, [a]POD[/a] display a muscular positivity that barrels along, not immediately bothering with conversions. ‘Portrait’, meanwhile, invokes Christ 18 times, but sounds like [a]Sepultura[/a]. So that’s all right then.