Sevendust co-founder and guitarist Clint Lowery has spent the past two decades plus making quite the name for himself as a member of the Grammy® nominated hard rock band. After spending so much time with the Atlanta, GA-based hard rock band, Lowery has struck out on his own for the first time this year with his debut album God Bless The Renegades. Released an. 31 through Rise Records, the LP is a strong new effort from Lowery. That is thanks to familiar and new musical arrangements that exhibit Lowery’s growth as an artist. It is also thanks to lyrical content which will engage and entertain listeners just as much as the record’s musical content. The album’s opener and title track is just one example of how the record’s collective musical and lyrical content plays into its appeal. It will be addressed shortly. ‘Kings,’ which comes early in the album’s run, is another way in which the album proves itself a strong solo debut from Lowery. The album’s finale, ‘Do We Fear God’ is one more way in which the record proves itself so important to the album’s presentation. When it is considered along with the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s offerings, the whole of the record proves to be another early candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.
Clint Lowery’s solo debut record God Bless The Renegades is a positive offering from the longtime Sevendust guitarist and co-founder. That is thanks to the record’s musical and lyrical content. The album’s opener and title track is just one of the entries that support that statement. The song’s musical arrangement instantly lends itself to comparisons to works that Lowery has composed as a member of Sevendust. More specifically speaking, the heavy, crunching sound and the tempo lends itself to comparisons to works from the band’s sophomore album Home (1999). It is instantly infectious and will certainly be a fan favorite. It is just one part of what makes the song stand out, too. Its companion lyrical content adds to its impact.
Lowery sings in the song’s lead verse, “What’s the meaning behind the broken heart/Watch your feelings/Try not to fall apart/I think we’re dying to play the victim card/You taste like chemicals/You are the one they want/What makes you feel good at the moment/What breaks you down/What makes you whole/Oh you know/You said it’s all the rage/Love dies and we relate/I hope you’re entertained/God bless the renegades/Let’s watch the superstars run from the cannibals/They think they’re gonna be saved/God bless the renegades.” He continues in the song’s second verse, “What’s the reason for the guilty one’s love/Go wash that blood off your hands/Oh, you won’t believe this/No matter what you are/We live like animals/And the cowards die alone/We die alone.” He adds in the song’s third and final verse, “So tell me how do we change/We give ourselves away/No words can take the place/Beautiful lies we chase/Entirely erased.” Lowery talked about the song’s lyrical content in a recent interview from the debut of the song’s lyric video. He explained of the song, “I wanted to give thanks and praise to the people who step away from the ‘sheep’ mentality,” he said. “The forward-thinkers and dreamers who create real change and evolution – the ones who don’t fear being different.” Simply put, this song presents the tried and true topic of promoting individuality, which is a staple in rock music. The fashion in which Lowery has approached the topic here lyrically is unique. When it is coupled with the song’s familiar musical styling, the whole of the elements makes the song a strong start for Lowery’s new LP and an equally strong example of what make the album a positive solo debut from an already very accomplished musician.
‘God Bless The Renegades’ is just one of the songs that serves to show what makes Lowery’s solo debut such an engaging and enjoyable offering. ‘Kings,’ which also comes early in the album’s 41-minute run, is another key example of what makes this record stand out. The musical arrangement at the center of ‘Kings’ shows a slight hint of his work with Sevendust, but in larger part, there is more of a distinct, straight forward, mainstream rock sound. That is evidenced in the song’s vocal harmonies and the general instrumentation. It can be compared to works from so many bands out there, such as Finger Eleven, Default and Three Days Grace. What is interesting in considering the song’s musical arrangement is that while the song’s mid-tempo arrangement is infectious in its own right, it doesn’t entirely match the song’s proudly defiant lyrical content, which focuses on overcoming diversity. Typically such songs present much more fiery arrangements, but even despite that, this arrangement still works in its own right.
The message of the proud defiance is delivered in the song’s lead verse, during which Lowery sings, “I’m coming out breathing fire/You gotta love the thieves and liars/They’re hanging on every word/We’re tearing down the walls inside/We’re working up with dirt-filled eyes/And everyone knows it/Goes on and on and on again/Break it/Break it to see you can take it/Take it from me, you can make it/’Cause I’ll be right by your side/I’ve been through hell just for this/I’ve had my say/I found my way/Even though I came down for it/We’re dying at the bottom/But we lived like kings.” He continues in the song’s second verse, “I’m fighting off the angry hearts/They tear apart the things we love/I know you want blood/You can’t hide it/The worst part/We needed/The darkness, we feed it/The scars that you see/You know that it’s better to bleed.” Again, here is that message of overcoming diversity and rising above, making the best of life regardless of the negatives. This is a positive message that will resonate with audiences just as much as the song’s musical arrangement. Both items together make the song in whole its own powerful presentation that once again, shows what makes God Bless The Renegades stand out. It is just one more example of what God Bless The Renegades a positive debut from Lowery. The album’s finale, ‘Do We Fear God’ is yet another example of the album’s strength.
‘Do We Fear God’ features an almost emo style arrangement at its core. That is something that could not be farther from what Lowery has crafted as a member of Sevendust throughout his career. It is a full on, melodic work that is the most stark departure possible from his signature style. That is not necessarily a bad thing, either. It shows his ability to handle more than just hard rock, and to do so successfully. It meets with the song’s lyrical content quite well in its own way, too.
Lowery sings in the song’s lead verse, “The seconds taste like falling rain/It’s almost chemical/The dreams we chase/A nightmare race/We deem so critical/And I believe we’re all just scared/I see so much of me in them/The more we say, the less we grow/We use our words to close the doors/We’re in and out/We live and die/We breach the walls to save our souls/Do we fear God” He continues in the song’s second verse, “Would you ask my name/If my weathered face/Was less than beautiful/In this shallow place/We become the slaves/On a selfish pedestal/And I believe we’re all just scared/It takes so much from you to give/The less we say the more we hold.” He adds in the song’s third and final verse, “We whisper something cruel/About everything and everyone/Am I the only one/I’m the only one/I’m not the only one.” This is a relatively straight forward message. Lowery is making a social commentary of sorts here, but in a more eloquent fashion than many other songs of its ilk. It is addressing how selfish, self-centered and shallow we as a people have become. When he notes that “the dreams we chase/A nightmare race/We deem so critical,” he is noting that we are chasing something inconsequential, adding “the more we say, the less we grow.” That added note of asking if someone would talk to another person based solely on looks, that makes us the “slaves on a selfish pedestal.” Again, Lowery has, here, presented another familiar lyrical topic that many groups and acts have crafted, yet he has done so in a unique fashion that stands out among its counterparts. When it is considered alongside its moving, companion musical arrangement, the whole of the song becomes one of the album’s most powerful works if not its most powerful in its subtlety. When it is considered along with the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s entries, the whole of the album shows Lowery has a bright future ahead of him whether it be with Sevendust, on his own or both.
Clint Lowery’s debut solo LP God Bless The Renegades is a positive new offering from the longtime Sevendust guitarist and co-founder. That is due in part to its musical arrangements, which throw back to his work with Sevendust and show his own personal growth as a musician. The album’s lyrical content is certain to keep audiences just as engaged as its companion musical content. That is proven in part through all three of the songs featured here. When they are considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, the album in whole becomes a solid solo debut for Lowery and a sign that his future as a solo artist is just as positive as it is with his band mates in Sevendust. God Bless The Renegades is available now. More information on the album is available online now along with all of Lowery’s latest news at:
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