It’s not that the music I listened to before was simple, but when I first heard the song “On & On,” I couldn’t wrap my head around what was going on. There was some kind of weird timing thing in the verse. The song had several dynamic shifts from beginning to end. It didn’t end with a big chorus and a power chord ringing out, but a build up which suddenly stops. I was enthralled, listening to the radio as I vacuumed the pool at Worthington Crossing condominiums for my summer job. This was my first exposure to Number One Gun, an emo-rock band from Chico, CA.
As with most albums in this stage of my life, I had to wait for the actual CD. (Nostalgic side note: I kind of miss that.) I felt a certain degree of indie cool points because not even Best Buy would carry this release from the small label Floodgate Records; I had to order it from a small Christian music site. At last, the envelope appeared in my mailbox in mid-August. I sat and listened to it all the way through, following along in the liner notes.
While the music I enjoyed up to this point was not bland or boring, there was emotion in the vocals I was not familiar with. Jeff Schneeweis sung of the typical fare, but also of deeper life questions while dueling guitars carried complimentary melodies underneath. The drumming wasn’t always straight-forward, unlike most of the pop-punk I held so dear. In short, the music felt just as youthful and passionate, but somehow more mature than what I was used to. There was a pensive and reflective side in the midst of the energy, as is evident in the title track.
One of these days I’ll find a way
To celebrate all my mistakes
Falling over just to show You I’m alive
Could it be so bad
To follow all these dreams I’ve had
And use them for Your glory
And turn around my face
So what’s that fear to fall away
I remember many drives home from school that fall in my ’96 Jetta, soaking in my new-found favorite band. While still youthful by most standards, I believe Number One Gun opened the door for me to enjoy more complex and mature music, both in composition and theme. The epic bridge of the lead single still holds a special place in my heart after all these years.
Because it was released on such a small label, you can find the now-classic emo-rock of Celebrate Mistakes only on Amazon.