Anthem The Rock Band – Cuttin’ Thru’ – 1982

Actually recorded by “Anthem the ROCK Band,” but most commonly referred to as simply Anthem, “Cuttin’ Thru” was quite a groundbreaking release for its time, as many of the Tunesmith releases were. A female led rock band at a time when only Servant and Resurrection Band (partially) were female led bands. For the history behind the band, please check out the interview with guitarist Michael Manthei on the Legacy podcast. The album breaks ground immediately by kicking the album off with an instrumental rock track, “Spiritual Warfare.” This was actually a bit controversial for the time given that most albums in Christian bookstores were purchased by parents and were “previewed” at listening centers. At a time when rock music was still taboo in many circles and the popularity of anti-rock critics and “backwards masking” investigators, leading off with screaming guitars and no “Jesus message” was virtually unheard of, especially for a debut project. But the song does kick off the album quite nicely. But when the title track kicks we get to hear the powerful and soulful voice of female lead vocalist, Mary Pinkley. Big, strong and aggressive, Pinkley’s voice reminds me of a edgier Pauline Wilson (Seawind) more than a Janice Joplin or Grace Slick. It doesn’t have the growl of the aforementioned, but rather rests on the power it possesses. The vocal description fits best in the following track, “Word.” More soulful and bluesly, this song easily would fit on an early Petra album or Servant’s “Shallow Water.” Here the guitar takes center stage with a great blues riff throughout. “Cheap Thrill” shifts to a more Southern Rock flair with a warning message regarding playing with sin. It may be the one song on the album that Pinkley shows a more raspy, gutsy vocal style. Possibly “Doctor” would fall into this descriptor, with a more bluesy direction. One of the things that really separates this album from many of its contemporaries is that it doesn’t bounce between rockers and ballads and give some sort of 50/50 representation. The first 9 songs are straight ahead rockers, with even the slower songs being full throated blues rockers. The only ballad is the worshipful closer, “Morning Star.” Original vinyl copies can be difficult top find as the label was beginning its financial struggles and would close up shop before this band could release a sophomore album. Production ended up being relatively limited, so it is seen as somewhat of a rarity.

Contributor David Lowman – https://legacyccmsgreatestalbums.wordpress.com/

Tracklist
1 – Spiritual Warfare – 3:19
2 – Cuttin’ Thru – 2:09
3 – Word – 3:13
4 – Cheap Thrill – 2:32
5 – Free You – 3:47
6 – Winners – 3:51
7 – On Your Knees – 3:19
8 – Doctor – 3:11
9 – Don’t Be Deceived – 4:01
10 – Morning Star – 2:56

Credits
Drum – Gene M. Grammatico
Electric Bass – Kent Vander Weide
Engineer – Alan Schuman, Tom Russell
Guitar – Doug Cordell, Michael Manthei
Lead Vocals – Mary Pinkley
Producer – Eddie Everitt

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Author: David Lowman

Owner and writer at CCM's 500 Best Albums Of All Time. https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/

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