As one of the premier CCM bands of the 1990’s, Audio Adrenaline has gained a loyal following over the years. Though their popularity skyrocketed after “Big House” debuted on Don’t Censor Me, Audio A had a rough start with their first and self-titled album from ForeFront Records in 1992. At first, they had an almost hip-hop vibe, like fellow band dcTalk, but eventually they evolved into a rock band, starting with Bloom. This was followed by Some Kind of Zombie in 1997, Underdog in 1999, Lift in 2001, Worldwide in 2003, and Until My Heart Caves In in 2005. They disbanded in 2006 due to lead singer Mark Stuart’s damaged vocal cords.
Audio Adrenaline (1992): 11 tracks, 46 minutes
When you first listen through this record, it shows its age. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but after the initial four or five tracks, the quality goes way down. The best way to describe them is . . . annoying. Another problem is that they are extremely repetitive. You forget everything else except that you’re going to go “One step hyper . . .” They also interject a lot of spoken parts, which we could have done without. “Revolution” has a long, boring intro and the song itself isn’t really that great. However, Barry Blair saves the record from being a complete failure by slipping in some masterful guitar riffs and leads.
While the lyrics are quite repetitive, there are some good messages mixed in. A creative line at the end of the first track, “Let’s have a little fun as we crush the viper / Time to get / One step hyper.” “The Most Excellent Way” echoes 1 Corinthians 13; the love chapter. The bridge of “J.E.S.U.S. is Right” is a really great representation of falling into the trap of sin. I like the fact that they’re big about the gospel and about sharing it, but . . .
. . . Audio A really overdoes it on this record. The gospel is good, but hammering your listeners with the gospel in every song can turn them off to it (Christian or non-Christian), thereby ending up with the opposite of the desired effect. Also, the reference to being “spiritual snipers” in “One Step Hyper” isn’t necessarily the best analogy.
Far from the Audio Adrenaline most of us know and love, Audio Adrenaline is very repetitive and can almost seem annoying at times. The lyrics are a mix of good, okay . . . and repetitive. However, the guitar work that AA provides is decent. While it’s not an ideal record, it’s essential for fans of the band to see the way the band has grown over nearly 20 years of music. 6.0/10