75. The Lead: Burn This Record

(R.E.X. Records, 1989)
(R.E.X. Records, 1989)

Whenever I’m listening to The Lead, I always think of the legendary Christian metal band Barnabas. Both bands had one thing that was a rarity in Christian rock in the ’80s: a female lead singer. And both bands were of the hard music variety. Barnabas played straight ahead heavy metal with a dash of keyboard. The Lead, well, they played it louder, heavier and faster – a fiery blend of thrash, punk and hardcore. Burn This Record was like a run away steamroller, flattening everything in its path. And right there in the midst of the sonic storm was Nina Llopis, The Lead’s bass player who sings about half the songs.

Llopis helped forge the identity of the ground-breaking band that you either loved or hated. There really was no middle ground when it comes to The Lead. It was in-your-face-music. On Defiance, arguably the best song on the record, the band uses distortion on the vocals to further the hardcore cause – and the results are potent. It’s that kind of experimentation that makes Burn This Record and its 15 tracks interesting to listen to. The band could blast through a song in under two minutes (Hope You Stay Alive) or stretch things out beyond the five-minute mark (Internal Pain). And The Lead always mixed up the formula, alternating between male/female lead duties.

And I really think that’s part of the charm of the record, along with the lo-fi production that underscores the underground nature of the music. This is not the stuff of autotune dreams, although the production is much better than the band’s debut The Past Behind (which was later redone). Like I said earlier: The Lead is not everyone’s cup of tea. I was both shocked and amazed the first time I heard the band, which pioneered hardcore Christian punk rock. And Burn This Record is about as raw and rough-edged as it gets.


1. Change The World
2. Boring World
3. Suicide Is A Lie
4. Internal Pain
5. Hope You Stay Alive
6. Oh No! Not Again
7. To The Ends Of The Earth
8. Losers
9. Who’s The Victim
10. I Can’t Find It In My Heart
11. Skate Or Die
12. Kill Satan Mosh
13. The Empty Sepulchre
14. Defiance
15. Wink Of An Eye




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