96. The Lifesavors – Dream Life

(Refuge, 1983)
(Refuge, 1983)

Well, you knew Mike Knott would get into the picture somewhere along the line. The legendary singer/songwriter broke onto the Christian scene with the band The Lifesavors, a surf rock/new wave outfit that had a decidedly alternative sound. However, Knott’s contributions to Dream Life were limited to writing a handful of songs – and he didn’t sing on the record, well he did at first…. but there’s a story about that.

Anyway, Dream Life was the kind of record that was really thrilling to have in the ’80s ‘cause albums like it were few and far between. Oh sure, you could stock up on Steve Camp, David Meece, Steve Green, Russ Taff, and Michael W. Smith tapes at the local Christian bookstore (and if you bought four, you got one free!) And there were some half decent bands in Servant, White Heart and Prodigal. But the Lifesavors were fresh and exciting, mostly because they kind of sounded like The Ramones, well at least on Christian Twisters they did.

Now I know what you’re thinking: 1986’s A Kiss of Life was miles better than Dream Life. By then Lifesavors had become Lifesavers, and Knott was firmly at the helm. And really, the two versions of the band were totally different. A Kiss of Life was definitely more “alternative,” less new-wavy for lack of better explanation.

At any rate, the band that churned out Dream Life did a decent job and made a record that helped satisfy music enthusiasts with less mainstream tastes. Like I said, Christian Twisters had a real Ramones vibe, while Glamour Girls flat-out rocked (all 1:02 of it). I’m Not is also a solid cut, and kind of reminds me of Nobody’s Special’s Wierdo, which came out in 1989. Not all the songs are Grade A material, but it’s mostly passable (although Christian Army is definitely an acquired taste).

Of course, it would be wrong not to point out that Us Kids was The Lifesavors debut record. It came out two years earlier than Dream Life and is often considered to be the first Christian punk record ever unleashed on the church, although that’s definitely up for debate. But Dream Life was my introduction to the brave new world of Christian alternative music, that one cassette in my early collection that wasn’t like anything else I had ever heard.

TRACK LISTING:

  1. Break in My Head
  2. Christian Twisters
  3. Glamour Girls
  4. Christian Army
  5. Physical
  6. Waiting for You
  7. Sooner or Later
  8. False Identity
  9. I Won’t Give In
  10. The One
  11. Hurt, Out of My Heart
  12. Fourteen
  13. I’m Not
  14. Watch Nowhere
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