This Beautiful Republic to ring in 2009 with hometown showWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ben Olin laughed and said he was embarrassed to name some of the Christian rock bands he listened to as a teen.
“When I was growing up, Christian rock sounded horrible,” the lead singer of This Beautiful Republic said. “[Christian rock’s] become a lot more legitimate. It’s come a long way and I’m excited that it’s become more acceptable and people are more open to it just because it’s less abrasive, … and it sounds good.
“And we’ve had some really great bands pioneering the idea of ‘Christian’ rock — U2 has probably been the most notable, but we have bands like Underoath, Norma Jean and The Almost that are just making huge waves in the music pool. People don’t really care that it has a lot of spiritual themes or that it’s talking about a relationship that they have with Jesus.
“I think people are just more concerned with does it sound good, does it bring out some sort of emotion that I can connect with in a real and tangible way. It just, in general, isn’t cheesy anymore,” he said.
This Beautiful Republic is known for melodic modern rock with catchy choruses and guitar riffs. Case in point: “Casting Off,” the Toledo band’s hit from their 2007 debut “Even Heroes Need a Parachute.”
Olin, guitarists Adam Smith and Jeremy Kunkle, bass player Brandon Paxton and drummer Cameron Toews released their second CD, “Perceptions,” in August.
“I think there are some songs on [‘Perceptions’] that are really accessible to a large number of people. It’s been neat to see people come back and say the words of these songs have really hit home,” Olin said during a phone interview from Ann Arbor, where he was spending his birthday with his girlfriend.
He said one track, “A Point Between Extremes,” was therapeutic.
“I had grown up knowing all the things to say and do to appear as the best Christian that I could, but I didn’t know why we were supposed to do any of those things, why they brought glory to God,” Olin said.
That changed when he went to the University of Toledo, where he received a bachelor’s degree in business marketing in 2002.
“It took getting into the real world and making that personal to realize that we have to depend 100 percent on the grace of God and His willingness to forgive us for whatever we’ve done. So I found myself going from one extreme, saying and doing all the right things but for the wrong reasons, to not saying and doing any of the right things because I was taking that grace for granted.
“So the song ends up talking kind of about that and how I think God wants us to find a balance and comfortable place between the two where we’re saying and doing the right things because we understand why we’re supposed to be doing them.”
This Beautiful Republic will be right at home for an 8 p.m. show Dec. 31 at the Maumee Indoor Theatre. Tickets are $12 in advance at McCord Christian Road Church, (419) 882-6703, or $15 at the door. Opening will be Pawn, Remember in Venice, Teolyn and Epic Worship Band.
Visit www.thisbeautifulrepublic.com and click on links for more.