The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Sky Harbor updates Christian rock

Rebecca Saunders | Wednesday, September 24, 2003

“Who would have guessed?” is exactly the question that races through one’s mind while listening to the new Christian rock band Sky Harbor.

In its first album, Who Would Have Guessed, the band continually keeps listeners guessing about what could possibly be coming next as the album plays. The punk/garage rock band’s music varies from that of strong guitar riffs and heavy rock to near acoustic-sounding songs interspersed throughout the album. This mixture is extremely successful, and the music carries you through this debut album. Songs with distinct messages, deep metaphors and great lyrics have the potential to stick in the head of listeners for days.

The four-part, Phoenix-based rock band is led by Garth Bostic, doing vocals and guitar. His brother Willie Bostic performs bass and vocals, Steve Houser plays guitar and vocals, and Jonathan Russo completes the group on drums. A relatively young band, with no members over the age of 20, their young age does not in any way compromise the depth of the songs found on the album.

The album title itself is drawn from “A Case for Christianity” by C.S. Lewis, who argued that the best thing about Christianity is that no one would have guessed it to be true, but it is that fact which makes it true.

The entire album is laced with rich and deep messages such as the one found in the title of the album. The current single, “In Stereo” is an upbeat rock song with strong drums accompanied by quick yet heavy guitar rifts. The song talks about the revolution of Christian music through punchy and clever lines like, “It’s a culture revolution fueled by noise pollution / Funny-looking kids are offering solutions.” As “In Stereo” continues, it moves to a challenging tone, pointedly singing, “And everybody’s praying / While sitting on their hands.” The song is probably the strongest on the album in both message and music.

The rock songs throughout the album are generally very strong, and the best tracks, such as “Welcome” and “Day at the Beach,” carry weaker songs like “Identity” and “Not Gonna Change.” While all of the rock songs on the album are unique and individual, high-quality tracks such as “In Stereo,” “Welcome” and “Day at the Beach” really stand out as terrific songs.

A huge strength of the album is the three out of 10 songs that are of a lighter rock nature. “What If I Doubt,” one of the best songs on the album, is light acoustic mixed with rock and an upbeat rhythm behind it. The song confronts the issue of doubt in Christianity, asking, “What if I doubt? / What if I question things my life has been about? / Will you turn your back on me?” As one of the strongest songs on the album, the melody stays with the listener.

Likewise, “Who Needs A Girl” is also a softer song on the album. The song, about a boy needing a girl to “miss when he’s away” extends larger into the metaphor of the human need for connection. As one could probably guess, by the end of the song “Everyone needs someone to miss when we’re away,” just as the boy needs a girl.

Sky Harbor’s Who Would Have Guessed is an energetic mix of heavy rock and lighter guitar that makes for a terrific album. Enjoyable for any age and any type of person, the debut album is the perfect recording for anyone who, just as the title hints, may not have initially guessed the band’s talent and appeal.