A major failing of Christian rock is that a number of bands are not able to reconcile their faith with a sound that is catchy and would be alluring to individuals that may need a hand up.
Culpeper, VA’s Contending is an act that is able to create tracks that would work well on rock rotation while having a message that could bring listeners into Christianity. By being successful in both of these facets, the band is poised to receive a considerable influx of fans. The band is able to make the contributions of seven members into a unified front that will garner attention whenever one of their efforts is played. Gina, Micah, Trevor, and Nick establish the vocal side of things (Nick pulls double-duty here as guitarist alongside Chris), while the band is fleshed out through the inclusion of Johnny on keyboards and drums.
Restore is a musically intense track that unites vocals, drums, and guitars into a track that is continually shifting and changing. Emotional gravity is matched perfectly by skillful and deep arrangements. What results in a Contending track is something that is tremendously intricate and will require listeners to play each song off of the titular EP multiple times to hear everything that the band has placed into the extended play. In This Emergency is the band’s breakout track, shining brilliantly through the two vocal harmonies that are weaved through this composition. A Testimony is a track that works equally well in the rock, post-hardcore, and heavier paradigms; the band is able to hit listeners through splashy drums, expansive vocals, and a considerably different set of styles that are present at various points during the song.
Individuals that wish to hear samples of Contending’s music can visit their domain; a trip to the band’s Twitter or Facebook will keep fans up to date about the latest concerts and news about the band. As the constituent elements of Contending come from a variety of different stages and occupations, they are able to better understand those that would listen to them. It is this ability to identify for their audience that allows the band to create music that can reach the widest possible swath of listeners. Here’s to hoping that the band continues to create affecting music that allows musicophiles ample opportunity to delve deep into the band’s constituent elements.