A Rotterdam November

I have come across the most interesting band with a very unique album. The band is Idaho’s A Rotterdam November. The bio given on the band’s MySpace says explains the name and the mission of the band succinctly.

A Rotterdam November was formed In Boise, Idaho in late 2006.
The band has six members each bringing unique musical talent and
experience to the group. These varied backgrounds create a
convergence of styles from classical to the most modern artists,
which integrate to create ARN’s unique sound. The name “A
Rotterdam November” is the brainchild of Jared Nelson and contains
a metaphorical meaning describing the mission and heart of the band.
The city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands was bombed during WWII
and the main part of the city was completely destroyed. At that time,
a Russian/French sculptor saw the wasteland and dubbed it “the city
without a heart.” However, the spirit of Rotterdam was determined
to “…go on, eyes firmly fixed on the present and the future, and not
to linger in the past.” As a result, architects were presented with the
opportunity to reconstruct the heart of Rotterdam from scratch
and so they did. As it stands today, Rotterdam is an old city with a
new heart. This is the analogy for Christians; the enemy’s goal is to
destroy mankind and he has been partly successful through Adam’s
original sin. However, that is not the end of the story, through Jesus’
death and resurrection, mankind has the opportunity to be
reconstructed with a brand new heart. Spreading this message through
music, whether directly or indirectly, is the goal and desire of the
band A Rotterdam November.

Their eponymous album is a concept album of sorts that uses the events of the two World Wars as a springboard to discuss the human condition and the need for a Savior. You can see in all of the lyrics allusions to warfare and particularly WWII. The opening track is a short, piano-based instrumental entitles simply “Blitzkrieg” (the form of warfare used by the German army). “1914” discusses the unofficial World War I “Christmas truce” that occured along the Western Front in 1914. As the song states “Hold on, stop and pray, there’s no movement inside the trench. The enemy doesn’t look so mean when Christmas fires are lit. Just for one moment, just for one night, we can be, we can be, side by side.” The first I heard of this band was a short clip of the track “Crippling Machine” which immediately caught my attention as creative and unique (and rockin’).

The style of ARN is standard modern alt-rock with the addition of piano is some places. I have not seen their live show but the band apparently has a kind of “stardom” sense as demonstrated by their stage names Davey Mac (singer) , Agent XERo (keys, guitar), Admiral Nelson (guitar), Baker (bass), Chops (drums) and Dylan (guitar and backup vocals). ARN is currently completely independent without the backing of record label yet they are still receiving respectable radio and video airplay on various stations. This is an impressive feat considering the commercial noise generated by mainstream, record-label-driven marketing.

So if you like alternative and hard rock with some brains and thought behind it then you should check A Rotterdam November. You can buy their music through iTunes or the band’s MySpace (their official website is currently under construction).

Josh H.

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