Rend Collective Experiment [Handmade Worship By Handmade People]
Posted January 03, 2012
By KevinDavis_NRT, Staff Reviewer
The buzz that greeted Rend Collective Experiment's debut release, Organic Family Hymnal, included a viral "iPhone worship" video, UK tours with Francis Chan and Shane Claiborne, and a US tour with Chris Tomlin and Louie Giglio. Now the next audio assault from Northern Ireland's Rend Collective Experiment is about to launch. Homemade Worship By Handmade People is exactly what the title suggests. Recorded in church halls and houses in their organic collective style, this new collection of worship songs fuse a depth of sung theology and fresh melodies that reflect God-given creativity. Themes of redemption, devotion and celebration make this a complete worship experience with soundscapes that span from Arcade Fire and Mumford & Sons to Fleet Foxes and Snow Patrol.
Rend Collective Experiment is a group of friends collectively wondering how to make sense of the conundrum of life, God and community. What Rend Collective Experiment's 15-plus members add to the conversation are melodies, harmonic progression and lyrics that are Scriptural and contemporary, fresh and ancient. Several standout songs reflect the brilliance of this incredible album, my favorite worship album since Church Music by David Crowder*Band. First single “Second Chance” is one of the best worship songs I've ever heard. I'm completely convicted by the strong lyrics and find immense comfort in this song filled with biblical truth. I am especially comforted by the truth of the lyrics of the song—“Oh Your Cross it changes everything, there my world begins again with You, Oh Your Cross it’s where my hope re-starts, A second chance is Heaven’s Heart.” Amen! “You Are My Vision” is a gorgeous re-write of the classic hymn, “Be Thou My Vision,” and will have you singing at the top of your lungs. “True Intimacy” reminds me of hit song “This Is Not The End” by Gungor, including a gorgeous female vocal and xylophone. “Build Your Kingdom Here” and “Desert Soul” remind me of the hit GRAMMY nominated worship song “Beautiful Things” by Gungor, including harmonious male and female vocals and incredible musicianship including horns. This album displays plenty of Brit-Rock style rockers similar to Delirious?, Hillsong UNITED and The City Harmonic, before it closes with several reflective worshipful songs leading to the anthemic closer “Shining Star.”
"Everything we do is growing in a natural, non-manufactured environment," band leader Gareth Gilkeson shares. "Rend was a student movement representing numerous churches, and the ‘collective' grew out of that. The songs came from an organic environment, searching after the heart of God. We wanted to reflect what God was doing and teaching us, and offer that up for the rest of the world to hear." As for the group's unusual moniker, Rend Collective Experiment is a nod to the places in Scripture where it says to "rend your hearts" and not your garments," a bold call to be genuine."
Homemade Worship By Handmade People is the kind of unique worship album I've only dreamed was possible and is an incredible follow-up to Organic Family Hymnal. If you like “gourmet” worship songs like "God Of This City" by Bluetree and “Beautiful Things” by Gungor, this album is for you. There are several standout songs, “Praise Like Fireworks,” “You Are My Vision,” “True Intimacy,” “Build Your Kingdom Here,” “Desert Soul,” “Shining Star” and “Second Chance,” which is one of my all time favorite worship songs. This album builds on the momentum of Rend Collective Experiment’s stand-out tracks “Movements” and “Come On My Soul,” and takes it up a notch musically. This is surely one of the top worship albums ever made. Appropriately the album is releasing on the same day as new projects by David Crowder*Band and Snow Patrol. If you like those legendary bands, don’t miss out on Rend Collective Experiment’s new album, a stellar five star worship album. This album is truly a memorable worship experience.
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