Engraved

Tables Of Stone

Independent release, 1998

REVIEW BY: Michael Ehret

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/06/1999

Tables of Stone is an independent band, so you probably won't find their 1997 disc, Engraved, in your local Christian bookstore and certainly not in any of the mall-based, national-brand music stores.

But, this is a disc that would be well worth your while to acquire if only so you can say to your friends "I knew them before they were a big huge success - and they were good then, too."

Which is not to say this Canadian band's debut is without fault, however, what's good about is good enough to earn them a shot if they can get heard by the right people.

Colin Genereux fronts the band. He plays guitar, sings lead and writes or co-writes the songs with other band members. Genereux's vocals are reminiscent of the late great PFR's Joel Hanson. In fact, Tables of Stone picks up where PFR left off musically, mining the same vein of Beatle-esque sound.

These days it's hard to find a group that doesn't describe itself as "Beatle-esque"and that's part of the reason why this disc is not "A" rated. I love the Beatles and always will, but Genereux and Tables of Stone have enough going for them that I'd like to see them break out from that purely pop mold and be a little innovative.

I know it's not fair to ask an independent band with little or no financial backing to be innovative when they're just trying to survive from one project to the next, but often it's in those situations where something totally new can be created. I love what they're doing, but I think I love what they could be doing even more.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Engraved opens strongly with the song "Choose to Live." It percolates along with a bruising guitar intro by Genereux and some standard, but propulsive drumming by Chris Selim. The song declares that, despite his worst intentions and inclinations, the singer chooses to live a Christian life.

"It would feel good to be doing my own thing/I'm just like any other normal human being/With every rule I break/There's every breath I take/To remind me of Your love/I choose to live/I choose to give/For today is the day of salvation"

"Hello Jesus" is a warm, welcoming song. Genereux sounds his best on this tune. In the line "I'm the one who goes away, though I always want to stay" you can hear the truth in his voice - and the regret. But, it's not a down song. It's encouraging because though the song acknowledges that humans often drift or turn away from God, He's always there when we come to our senses and find our way back.

In addition to Colin Genereux and Selim, Tables of Stone is made up of Ken Mahoney and Marco Belanger on various guitars and background vocals, and Colin's brother, Sylvain Genereux, on bass guitar and background vocals.

One of the strengths of Tables Of Stone lies in its lyrics. They are very much in the singer-songwriter tradition with lyrics that speak to experiences the author has gone through or emotions the author is feeling.

The song moods range from pensive to worshipful to affirming to sad to awestruck. In the song "There Is A God", Mahoney and Colin Genereux share their idea of "proof" of the existence of God. The song is written as a refute to another who claims there is no God.

"Not a sound, not a word has been said/Yet there lay His wonders in the heavens/His truth unfolds/Graceful words/With eternal meaning/Eyes for seeing/Haven't you heard/They're for believing/He is the wind of the raging sea/And the precious peace with certainty"

Since they're an independent band, the disc is a little harder to find. But, it is available from a couple of different Internet sources, including www.musicforce.com and www.christiandiscs.com or from the band: Tables of Stone, P.O. Box 36067, 1318 Wellington St., Ottawa, Ont., K1Y 4V3, (819) 458-2238.

Give this band a try. You will be pleasantly surprised. Beatles influences aside, these guys really have something going for them that you won't want to miss.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 1999 Michael Ehret and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Independent release, and is used for informational purposes only.