One Bad Pig - I Scream Sunday
Music You Might Want to Consider - I
One of my best friends in high school was named Brian. Brian loved music. He was a budding musician himself, and during the early days of our friendship, he would spend the time telling me all about the music he was listening to during our short ride on the bus. He was into everything Christian at the time. He showed me some Christian Rap (Stephen Wiley), Christian Pop (Michael W. Smith), and Christian Metal (White Cross, Bride).
He also introduced me to Christian Punk. Which sounds sort of like an oxymoron. But it’s real stuff. Christian Punk has been around for decades now, and it’s just as good now as it was then. The first Christian punk band that stuck with me was, One Bad Pig.
One Bad Pig admits that their band name is stupid, just look at the lyrics of the song “Looney Tune”, from their 1989 album, Smash.
One Bad Pig - Our claim to fame One Bad Pig - What a stupid name
Nobody said that Christian Punk had to be clever as much as it was fun, right?
And boy, One Bad Pig was fun.
Thanks to glowing coverage from Heavens Metal Magazine1, I decided I would order their newest album, I Scream Sunday, rather quickly after its release.
And, suffice to say, I loved it.
From the opening track “Take a Look at Yourself”, imploring self-reflection over casting judgment, to the closing track, “Wholly My Lord”, a punk rock psalm, I was all in. Were some of the songs silly? Of course. You can’t possibly take a song like “Ice Cream Sundae” (drawing an analogy between the world itself and ice cream - “They’re all gonna melt someday”) seriously.
But how can you not love their cover of Johnny Cash’s “Man in Black”, featuring the Man in Black himself?
But overall, I Scream Sunday does exactly what it sets out to do - create fun, accessible punk music with a Christian edge (if I recall correctly, the liner notes were full of scripture references that inspired some of their lyrics).
Embarrassing side story time:
I was in ninth grade, and our youth group of about six or seven people was invited to join another, much larger group for a winter retreat at a ski resort somewhere in central NY. Brian was unable to attend, so I was sort of relegated to hanging out with whoever was there, since my youth group was mostly paired off into couples, or friends, and I was sort of just, there.
Anyway, there was a talent show on the last night, and since I didn’t have any close friends there, I decided to sing a solo, using a cassette as the backing track. That cassette? I Scream Sunday.
I didn’t choose a song that was full of screaming, instead, I chose the one ballad on the album - “For a Good Man” - which was about, of all things, child abuse.
I can’t say I did the song justice, but I don’t think I did terribly. But when I finished, there was no applause. Nothing. I just…awkwardly walked off stage, making way for another act, that had far more appeal to the group at large.
(If I could have found a GIF of Napoleon Dynamite running off stage when he finished dancing for Pedro, I would have put it right here.)
I immediately regretted performing, and for years I beat myself up over it. The teen years are especially awkward, adding an embarrassing performance of an extremely sad song to it, does it no favors. For all I know, people were weirded out that I was singing about child abuse during a lighthearted talent show. I have no idea.
But why was I embarrassed? No particular reason. I don’t think my singing was all that terrible. But, the lack of applause (not even a polite clap), was the most likely culprit. In that moment, I wanted to immediately go home, but I couldn’t do that. I think I spent the rest of the weekend wanting to hide in a corner until we left. (Thank God I had enough batteries to keep my walkman going)
So every single time I listen to this album (which isn’t very often in my old age), I have to skip over “For a Good Man”, thanks to my own, awkward teen PTSD.
This was something else that Brian had introduced me to. Somehow I convinced my mom to let me subscribe - a magazine focused almost exclusively on Christian Heavy Metal, as well as other hard music - punk, thrash, death metal, etc.