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Unisef: Can These Bones Live?

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I'm no Miss Cleo, but I would venture to guess that any band whose main inspiration is not love, heartbreak or disestablishmentarianism, but rather "He" with a capital H, will not likely find a huge mainstream following. Sure, there have been some crossover bands like Jars of Clay and Creed, but even those self-proclaimed Christian-rock bands' lyrics were are up for interpretation. If so inclined, a listener really could believe their songs are about mere mortals.

Not so with Boise band uniSEF. Never mind that the band's logo--a take-off of the UNICEF design--includes a silhouette profile of a figure wearing a mohawk and brandishing a crucifix. A cursory listen to Can These Bones Live?, and the band's muse immediately becomes clear. If you're the type, who upon hearing lyrics such as "Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners," would leap over puppies and small children to turn the stereo off before another word could be heard, know this: Yes, this is a Christian band, but they play Christian punk. The lyrics are yelled, screamed and sung all over a classic punk musical foundation, that's as tight as any punk music ought to be. Can These Bones Live? is nine tracks of pretty damn, sorry, darn good music. Lightning fast guitar, chugga-chugga bass lines, and spot-on drums make this a very listenable CD even if you're not usually a fan of family-friendly songs. For more information, visit uniSEF's myspace site at www.myspace.com/unisef.

--Amy Atkins