Mono V Stereo Records
Release Date: October 28th 2016
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- The Halloween Blues
- The Cup
- Halloween In Owatonna
What happens when there is a glut of Christmas albums releasing in a particular year, yet an artist or a band still wants to unveil a holiday themed release, yet something different from the norm? Well, that’s where Cantion, Ohio pop/rock duo Relient K come in, as they unveil The Creepier EP…er, a short but punchy 3 song EP centred around the festivities of Halloween. While I myself do not celebrate the holiday in any way, this rather timely release is quite confronting, as lead singer Matt Thiessen and guitarist Matt Hoopes subtly ask the question about why we celebrate the holiday. Long after the 7 minutes of the EP are over, there are still more issues to ponder over.
With the EP opener and closer “The Halloween Blues” and “Halloween In Owatonna” both delving into Matt’s childhood, and his own experiences of Halloween (which included asking neighbours for candy and more importantly, according to Matt, scaring people beyond the limits and scarring people for life, as mentioned in the closer that ‘…I could trick or treat but I’m not gonna, I’d rather scare the living daylights out of you, I’ll pour gasoline into my chainsaw, I will quietly wait by your bedside, pull the cord and watch the light flash before your eyes…’); it is “The Cup” that definitely poses quite a number of questions.
As Matt eloquently lists his favourite sweets, desserts and lollies to eat on that ‘special’ day, we are asked the question- other than eating lollies, what is Halloween all about? Is that it? If it is, then isn’t it a pointless holiday, and should we be celebrating Christmas earlier instead, which is much more meaningful? All in all, The Creepier EP…er is very quirky and weird, with plenty of drums and guitars abound, yet in some ways Relient K is going out of their way to describe their version of Halloween in order to discourage us to celebrate that day. In that way, I would say that the duo have succeeded in this EP, as I for one wouldn’t want to celebrate any day that advocates brutal bodily harm and death by a chainsaw, or any other method (as referenced in the EP closer).
While the band do not offer up any alternative as to what to celebrate instead, what is left unsaid is probably best as it leaves the EP open to interpretation. Some may still choose to celebrate Halloween, but others may wonder what the deal is all about. And that’s ok. But let us stop for a second even if we still choose to celebrate Halloween, and think about why we do what we do. When our motivations are right, then out of our actions, others can and will see Christ in us. If they see Jesus during a spooky holiday, then so be it. It’s unconventional, but God works in anything He wants to. So should you listen to Relient K’s new offering or not? It’s up to you, whether you want to feel ‘creeped out’ or not!
3 songs to listen to: All of them (only if you guys want to!)
RIYL: House Of Heroes, Disciple, Needtobreathe, Skillet, Switchfoot