15 Songs, 49 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Membership changes can either destroy or revitalize a band. In the case of Close Your Eyes, the latter seems to be the case. The Texas-based Christian quintet’s third album, Line in the Sand, is impressive from start to finish, matching an aggressive yet melodic sound to spiritually provocative lyrics. Newly recruited lead singer Sam Ryder Robinson (ex–Blessed by a Broken Heart) brings a dash of British punk energy to the proceedings, while guitarists Brett Callaway and Andrew Rodriguez maintain a sense of continuity with the band’s American hardcore origins. The disparate strands in CYE’s music are lashed together with boisterous playing and a consistent message. Whether they erupt into throat-searing hardcore (“Sleeping Giant,” “Skeletons”), veer toward lean, urgent punk sounds (“Days of Youth,” “Kings of John Payne”), or ascend into arena rock balladry (“Frame and Glass,” “Trends and Phases”), the band comes across as tight, earnest, and fully engaged. The lyrics go beyond familiar Christianese sloganeering to condemn sins of human pride (“Glory”) and blind hatred (“Burdened by Hope”).

EDITORS’ NOTES

Membership changes can either destroy or revitalize a band. In the case of Close Your Eyes, the latter seems to be the case. The Texas-based Christian quintet’s third album, Line in the Sand, is impressive from start to finish, matching an aggressive yet melodic sound to spiritually provocative lyrics. Newly recruited lead singer Sam Ryder Robinson (ex–Blessed by a Broken Heart) brings a dash of British punk energy to the proceedings, while guitarists Brett Callaway and Andrew Rodriguez maintain a sense of continuity with the band’s American hardcore origins. The disparate strands in CYE’s music are lashed together with boisterous playing and a consistent message. Whether they erupt into throat-searing hardcore (“Sleeping Giant,” “Skeletons”), veer toward lean, urgent punk sounds (“Days of Youth,” “Kings of John Payne”), or ascend into arena rock balladry (“Frame and Glass,” “Trends and Phases”), the band comes across as tight, earnest, and fully engaged. The lyrics go beyond familiar Christianese sloganeering to condemn sins of human pride (“Glory”) and blind hatred (“Burdened by Hope”).

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