The O.C. Supertones
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The O.C. Supertones Bibliography: (click on each album cover to view tracks and The O.C. Supertones lyrics)
The O.C. Supertones Biography
The name is synonymous with some of the most rousing horn-driven rock and roll ever to emerge from Orange County, California. The music remains relevant despite shifting trends and cultural climates. The message stays uncompromised, digging past the surface to practically apply faith principles to listeners' daily walks. With sales approaching one million records, concert crowds that consistently sell out, and an immeasurable eternal impact, the Supertones are, bottom line, an enduring institution.
"It's funny because despite being around the block for awhile, we're having an absolute blast keeping this going," says front man Matt Morginsky. "But it's become so much more than just expressing ourselves in the studio and having fun playing on the road together as friends. We've seen people whose eternal destiny was impacted by something started by the Supertones, and that pattern keeps building. How can we stop when God has His hand in using this to expand the kingdom of heaven?"
Morginsky's question may have been rhetorical, but upon an initial listen of the brand new Revenge of the Supertones, the answer comes across loud and clear-from both a ministry perspective and artistic aptitude. On the lyrical front, the gang unveils a spiritually-slanted arsenal steeped in reflections of the kingdom and afterlife, presented with doctrinally sound sensitivity and clear-cut relatability to fans from all perspectives.
"The idea of God's kingdom filling the earth and the process of reconciling with the sin, alienation and division of this world were some of the profound ideas on our mind since the last record," Morginsky relates. "Revenge of the Supertones talks a lot about brokenness and renewal, about looking forward to Jesus' return and a time of perfect peace and justice-a time when there's no America and no Iraq, just citizens of the kingdom."
Such ideas are conveyed throughout a dozen high-energy romps, all of which build sonically off the band's traditional base, while incorporating fresh nuances and entertaining explorations into previously uncharted territory. Call it ska, call it surf-infused power pop, call it alternative attitude with a splash of blue-eyed soul or whatever you want, but don't dare assume these guys rested on their laurels for a split second.
"This is a no-compromise look at making something that hopefully moves people thematically but also rocks as hard as we can," says Morginsky of the Mark Lee Townsend-produced endeavor. "When I say 'rock hard' I don't mean in the metal sense, just with an energy level cranked up all the way. There's a certain rawness like you would have found in the early days, but we're also a lot more grown up instrumentally. There's no concessions to fit in with radio or to land in the middle of the road, just to get as close as possible to translating what we do live."
Listening to the invigorating rush of "Wake Me Up On Time" and "Where I Find You" are sure to get one's fist pumping in the air, while the idea of a mosh/skank pit hybrid may also pop into mind. The brass-smacked cuts "We Shall Overcome" and "Prince of Peace" also lend a certain sense of high-octane immediacy to the project, loaded with a rap/rhyme attack.
"I feel like this record is the most fully realized from its original inception," confirms Morginsky of that quality consistency. "In the past, we've had changes from the start to the end of a session, but we're confident that sticking to our first instincts this round will be evident for the better."
Some of the more meaty messages along the way include the reverent obedience of "I Will Follow," the wide-eyed wonder of "Faith of a Child," and the project-summarizing "The Kingdom." Add in the groundbreaking groove of "Prince of Peace" (calling for care and compassion over complacency) and the creative ingenuity of "Everything Is Broken" (evaluating the burden of Adam's first sin in the course of humanity), and there's a thread of earnest reflection that ties the project together.
Two additional tunes particularly resonate with Morginsky as he expounds on the album- the socially conscious "The Shepherd Is the Lamb" and Revelation-inspired "Dream of Two Cities." On the first, the Supertones intersperse sermon dialogue from acclaimed author Dr. George Grant to relate society's disenfranchised (AIDS victims, single parents, enslaved addicts, etc.) to those Christ speaks of in the Beatitudes. Throughout the latter, the singer and his mates weave scriptural observations with mystical metaphor to further motivate believers to live out the Great Commission.
"Personally, I can say that I've grown a lot in my faith, and I don't say that with pride but rather to indicate how God's worked in my life," Morginsky concludes. "If we were a band about girls and getting dumped, then we'd have to break up to write a new record. Writing lyrics about experiencing God are much more meaningful and inspiring in the long run. I think that's why there's always been new topics and experiences to write about, and why it will continue to be an inexhaustible resource."
And one destined to solidify the Supertones' quest for institutional longevity indeed!