Release Date: June 10, 2003
Reviewed by Scott Olivenbaum

Wow, who would have thought that despite producing quite possibly the worst follow up to a hit record, the band Crazy Town would have inspired other bands?

This is another example of major labels (Geffen in this case) attempting to capitalize in on the nu metal craze that passed over a year ago. The oversaturation of the genre by the labels with groups like this has given good nu metal bands bad reputations. It is because of the proliferation of the weak sound that it makes it easy to compare this band to a legion of other groups.

Following the blazed trail set by groups like Crazy Town and P.O.D. is Pillar, a Kansas band now based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Infusing their Christianity in their music like P.O.D., Pillar unfortunately comes across more like the “Butterfly” creators throughout much of their new album, Fireproof.

The group released the title track as their first single. “Fireproof” is undeniably catchy, but meaningless. Punctuated with thick distorted guitar lines and the ridiculous harmonizing backing vocals (to give more oomph to the oft-repeated line “I am fireproof”), this song could be one of the cast-offs from a Trapt album.

Unfortunately, much like the aforementioned Crazy Town, the rest of Fireproof is prevailingly one-dimensional rap metal.

Case in point is the song “Indivisible”. Pillar manage to make being patriotic sound bad with a chorus that goes: “All the people let me hear you give a holler/In God we trust, In God we trust/We stamp it on our penny, nickel, dime, quarter, dollar/In God we trust, In God we trust.” The group goes on to say that if you are offended by ‘In God we trust’ being on the currency you should leave the country. In a nation built on freedom of beliefs this quartet wants to ship the atheists overseas. Very patriotic.

While not all of the rhymes aren’t as horrid as in “Indivisible” (Kansas white guys asking for you to “give a hollar” – it can’t get much worse), a predominant portion of the songs on Fireproof should just be avoided.

For the religious folks out there, “Light At My Feet” will be the most appreciated track on the release. Pillar wears their faith on their sleeves saying “Now that I see it’s so easy for me to proceed on the my destiny (sic)/And let it be seen the light that you’ve given thee”. Yes, P.O.D. does a better job infusing their faith in their music.

The one song that deserves recognition is “Further From Myself” – easily the best track on Fireproof. With a slower pace, no rapping and a smooth groove and catchy chorus it stands above the rest of the songs. It is much closer to a slower 12 Stones tune than a Crazy Town rap metal train wreck. If it wasn’t for this song, Fireproof would have no redeeming qualities.

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