Call Box was a campus worship band formed in Portland, Oregon. By 2001 they were known as Kutless. In 2002 they released their self-titled debut album on BEC Recordings. It was produced by Aaron Sprinkle and was executive produced by Brandon Ebel. Two of the songs, ‘Run’, and ‘Your Touch’ hit #1 on ChristianRock.net. The album peaked at #27 on the Billboard Christian Albums Chart. Group members on the album are: Jon Micah Sumrall (vocals), James Mead (guitar), Ryan Shrout (guitar), Nathan ‘Stu’ Stuart (bass), and Kyle Mitchell (drums).
‘Your Touch’ is a manly rock song that admits spiritual need: “I discern I was wrong in my way/Looking for peace in another, another domain/And I realize that it’s true and I seek You, whoa/I realize that it’s true/I need You/And I reach out and I touch You and I know that I need You/To reach out and to touch me and I know/I know that I need Your touch/Not knowing why I ever retreated from Your arms/A mistake I made”. ‘In Me’ is a song of testimony: “Only seven days ago/I let go of my life/Yes, I gave it all/I let go of all I used to do and I gave it all away/You want to know, the differences between us/You want to know, why these things have changed/You’ve got to know the One who lives in me/He lives in me, in me”.
‘Run’ is a moving rock ballad that finds God calling out to one of His children: “Looking down from above as you watch TV/Wondering why, oh you’re ignoring Me/Do you remember, remember when I came to you/And you loved Me?/And I’m waiting for you (2X)/Why do you run, why do you hide?/Oh, don’t you know I just, just want to be with you, to be with you?” ‘Vow’ is a song of good intentions: “I’m going to make a vow to repent and turn to You/I’m crying out to You now as I make my New Year’s vow/I’ll tell You I love You and I’ll honor You somehow/Hear my prayer to You in my New Year’s vow/I give You all of me/You’ll be all of my life and I’ll never think twice to do all that You have for me”.
‘Pride Away’ is a rock prayer: “Lord keep me only focused on You/Make me a humble man/Don’t ever let me take the credit for all that You have done/Woah/Take my pride away, my pride away/Take my pride away, pride away/And take my pride away”. Ben Hulbert provides a rap break on the song. ‘Down’ tackles an all too familiar societal issue: “A young girl walks into her room and doesn’t like what she sees in her reflection there/She’s not what she wants to be/She cries out, she cries out/The frustrations of this life are filling her head/How could such a simple thing have a grip so intense?/She cries out, she cries out/I want to be like the movie stars and models on the screen.../She wants to fly away from this/Only God knows how to fly away from this”.
‘Again’ is a song of gratitude to God: “A fountain flows with gifts from You that I do nothing for/You cover me with Your love though I nailed You to a cross/I don’t understand, but I thank You the same/This must imply that/Love again, again, again/I don’t deserve this love You gave”. ‘Dry’ speaks of spiritual valleys: “The feeling’s gone, but I know You’re still there/I guess it’s just a part of life that I must bear/It doesn’t feel the same/And I’m feeling down/Amidst my pain/I see all my shame/And I’m feeling dry/But who am I to complain?”
‘Tonight’ is a hard rocker that glorifies God: “So let me ask you/Can’t you feel the music all around you?/Flashing lights, but love can fill your mind/Can’t you feel the sounds of love flow through you?/We’re praising Him tonight”. ‘This Time’ finds one friend talking to another: “You were the one that I looked to/I never thought I’d see you run/I never thought I’d see you turn your back on all you knew was right/You turned your back on God”.
‘Saved’ is a strong rock song that offers these words of spiritual invitation: “Oh now won’t you come and take Him in/He’ll be more than you could ever dream/It’s Jesus Christ, in Him we trust/He is the truth, the life/And the way, the way, the way, the way/To be saved”. Danielle Capps sings backing vocals on the last song, ‘Grace and Love’, a pretty ballad. It includes these words: “I thank You Lord for dying upon the tree of Calvary/I thank You Lord for loving me/I thank You Lord for dying for me/Because it’s by grace and love I am saved/And it’s by grace and love You’ve forgiven me, hey/And by that love and grace I’m amazed/And it’s by grace and love I am free/I am free”.
KUTLESS is a terrific debut album from the group of the same name. Style-wise it will appeal to fans of Creed and Nickelback. Fans of Petra’s lyrics, which are pretty straight forward, will appreciate the simple approach here to sharing the Gospel in a very down to earth fashion. This is a rock album, but not in a pounding way. Several of the songs start off slow and simmer, and then turn into more energetic fare. Vocalist Jon Micah Sumrall does scream at times, but not the majority of the time by any means. These songs encourage an active, living, personal relationship with a loving God. I’m rating KUTLESS 88%. For more info visit: www.kutless.com.