Pax217 – Check Your Pulse EP

Pax217 – Check Your Pulse EP
May 1, 2004

What It Sounds Like:  Alternative rock with just a hint; just a pinch, of indie and reggae influences (but this ain’t no island music).  Pax217 are hook-heavy and ready for you to sing along.  It sounds nothing like Sublime, but I can see those dudes rocking out to this.

This site does not have reviews for Pax217’s first two records as of yet (2000’s Twoseventeen or 2002’s Engage).  Realistically, I should be writing those reviews first to talk about the evolution of the band over their three-release career.  I’ve decided against it, if only because an intro to Pax217 may be better understood through a simple five song EP, which showed wonderful promise for a band still trying to break out of the Christian market and become a deserved success.  It’s a shame that no full length ever followed up this EP.

Only five songs.  Let’s give a quick track-by-track:

Check Your Pulse is unique.  It’s alternative.  It never gets too heavy, with a somewhat subdued tone that runs over it, while it still has a pure rock style and a chorus that begs to be sung along – even though it may not be considered “grand” in the terms of arena-read music – Noise all around us / Noise all around us / So check check check your pulse / And see if you’re alive Dave Tosti sings on the chorus.  Life is to be lived fully, in the way we were created to live and love, without all the limited-time distractions.  Are you living?  Are you really?  What’s your definition?

I Can’t Get By is undeniably my favorite song here.  Listen to those light/quick drums and that sweet (but simple!) guitar intro.  Quality pop/rock.  The whole thing is wonderfully catchy.  The bass-line carries the verse into a chorus that has some simple guitar hits, before we’re back into another verse – not overly complicated, but wonderfully executed.  There are three very distinct parts of this song (verse, chorus, post), with all of them being equally memorable.  (I look back, read what I just wrote, and think that I did a terrible job of trying to explain what this song actually sounds like.  It’s a hard song not to fall in love with – I urge you to give it a listen since my words don’t do it any sort of justice.)  I’m a huge fan of the lyrics as well.  It speaks of a girl who doesn’t feel worthy of the love that is being shown to her – she simply isn’t able to accept it.  She’s scarred from her past.  Hey, the past is the past, and the future is the future.  Don’t let those demons get ahold of you.  I’m indulging a a posting of the lyrics – they’re worth of it:

Pretty girl with your eyes on your own
Selfishness is all you’ve ever known
I know what you’re going through
Pretty girl I want you to know
You’re priceless no matter what you’re told
You know you got it going on

I can’t get by with anyone else but you
I can’t get by with anyone else but you

Hey girl you’re valuable
Can’t wait to see your heart full
I know you got it going on
So please girl disregard the lie
Of the one track mind of the trashcan guy
He’s not that chivalrous

I can’t get by / I can’t get by
Without you / Without you

Your blemishes aren’t blemishes at all
Your blemishes aren’t blemishes at all
I’ll find a way / Find a way
Find a way to bring you back to you again
I’ll find a way / Find a way
Find a way to bring you back to you again

Kiss Me Glory is a cry out to God.  It’s a dark spot in life.  It’s the feeling of simply being alone, but never forgetting that that you really arn’t.  It’s very chill, and it’s very powerful all the same.

Who Will Counsel is deep.  It’s hip-hop verses deal in abandoned children.  Home life in shambles.  No fathers.  No hope.  Who will counsel?  The track has a heavy (in actual tone, not simply style) indie-rock flavor.  It makes for an almost  (slightly) experimental offering that certainly pays off.

Frequency Of Your Love closes us out.  It has a slight pop-grunge feel, and serves as a wonderful slightly elevated slow-burner.  Dave’s vocal tone on the first half of the word frequency during the chorus is to be admired.  Turn me on to the frequency of your love – the extra edge pushes the song into a great spot.

It’s a wonderful closer if only even for one line that is given in the song.  Hey, we can all believe different things.  We can argue until our throats are sore about who has proof of what, and why should we believe in one thing when there are so many options.  Who’s right?  Who’s wrong?

The God that I love has one idea in his mind to live by:  it’s simply called love.  Of your wife, of your friends, of your neighbors, of everyone you come in contact with.  It’s about attitude.  It’s about contentment and gratefulness with what you’ve been given.  It’s about waking up in the morning and knowing that you’re a small part of a big picture, and that not one worry needs to consume your thoughts. There is a creator.  He understands.

Just love, man.  Just love.  We overcomplicate our lives with so much.

Just…love.  Grasp it.

Loving Him spreads into us loving others.

What’s that one line?

If I can’t love You / Then I don’t love at all.


If you had to listen to two tracks:  I Can’t Get By / Who Will Counsel


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