Makeshift 3 – Game Day

Makeshift 3
Game Day

Makeshift 3 are a Christian punk/pop band. I wouldn’t even mention the Christian part if I didn’t think it had direct bearings on this review. There’s nothing wrong with using music as a way to call attention to your religious beliefs, after all. But the problem I’ve had with music specifically marketed as “Christian” is that most of it seems to be a way for teenagers with uptight parents to listen to popular music without having to hide their records under the bed like so much contraband, and too many musicians concentrate on repeating what’s been done in the interest of spreading the word of God. To this end, there’s a Christian version of pretty much every sound available in popular music. Does your teen enjoy Radiohead? There’s a band that sounds very much like them in every way, except with lyrics about the Christian faith. Is Death Metal your kid’s thing? They’ve got you covered there too – death metal with an uplifting message. Is the music of Blink 182 somehow too subversive for your children? If this is the case, Makeshift 3 is one of your options. And as long as the message doesn’t overshadow the music, (in other words, if the music can stand on it’s own), I don’t have a problem with it. After listening to Game Day, though, I can’t come up with a reason why this is preferable to their heathen counterparts.
This disk has most of the elements of pop-punk stalwarts such as the Ataris, NoFX, Green Day, and of course, Blink 182. Although these are the primary bands that come to mind, that’s not the only place they’re coming from. Both “Rising Son” and “Snapper” feature some big-time metal influences, giving tips of the hat to Iron Maiden and vintage Metallica riffing in their extended outros. The drumming is high-energy and tight, the distorted guitars are thick and meaty, and the bass playing propels the whole thing along with glee. In fact, everything is really well played. But there’s still something missing.
My major criticism? The record has very few hooks. The element that makes the pop/punk of bands such as Blink 182 interesting, the pay-off hooks that guarantee listeners will remember the songs, is lacking. Even though the breakneck riffing and perky chord progressions are strong, I’m not left with enough that is memorable. The songs all start to sound the same after a while, especially after 13 tracks of 3-minute uptempo punk tunes. It’s obvious the band places a lot of value on their lyrics and message, but they shouldn’t forget what we’re all here for: the songs. When you’re working with pop/punk music, the hooks are crucial. They are what make you want to hear albums over and over again. This deficiency is what keeps this record from reaching it’s potential.