Further Seems Forever and Bleach held the Christian alternative rock throne in the early 2000s, Classic Crime and Anberlin held it in the later part of the decade. While Toledo, Ohio’s Southbound Fearing sound little like those bands, they are now fitting heirs for the “It” band of Christian alternative music. While far from perfect, their third album, Undefeated, showcases the talents of a band that has clearly spent time and creativity on what could be the next big thing on Christian radio stations.
The title track kicks off the album with crunchy guitars and a chorus so catchy I’ll forgive them for the cheap lyric, “You’re 10 steps behind me / You wanna fight me but you never will.” The song possesses the energy to hook listeners from the start.
The song’s final shouted lyric makes way for the guitar intro of “No One Owes Us Anything.” Momentum isn’t lost until the softly spoken vocals start 20 seconds into the track. Energy picks up again for another catchy chorus that holds a bit more substance this time around, “The same one who stopped the sun / Is the same one who stops our opposition / The same one who placed the stars in the sky / Is the same one who placed us here.”
The most noticeable flaw comes from a lack of diversity. Apart from two tracks, every song on this album is the same formula. The structure works for the band, but it would help them mature to write with slightly broader range.
Despite a few setbacks, this album deserves a listen. Memorize the choruses — it won’t take long — and catch them live.