Sometimes you don’t know you’re looking for something until you find it. This was what happened to me when I first heart the Relient K single “My Girlfriend.” As I was coming of age in 1999, I wanted and needed some music of my own. I wasn’t interested in the bland offerings the mainstream served up, and most of Christian radio wasn’t up my alley, either. Enter Relient K. Their upbeat, youthful sound connected with me, as did their tongue-in-cheek lyrics.
It may be said that this was the band that inspired me to pick up the electric guitar. They definitely influenced my very first songwriting efforts, to say the least – ironic songs about girls with a few references to spiritual things thrown in. By the time I was halfway through high school, they had become my favorite band. It didn’t hurt that they were only a few years older than I was and also Ohio natives, hailing from Canton.
The songs on the album almost all feature their signature pop-punk sound with lots of power chords, straight-forward beats, and a little lead guitar here and there. The couple of exceptions would be “Softer to Me,” the only song on the album in a minor key, and “Wake Up Call,” which features a little bit of acoustic guitar. Looking back, the songwriting isn’t really anything I would call impressive now, but it was exactly what a budding teen like myself needed to call his own. I can safely say that, had Relient K not opened the door to pop-punk for me, I would never have gone down the road of alternative music which led me to where I am today. And for that, I thank them greatly.
You can find the fun, upbeat sounds of Relient K on Spotify or Amazon.