♫♪  Jacob Sunderlin - Hymnal

I’m not assuming you’ve ever been to an evangelical church, but IF YOU HAVE, you know what I’m talking about. Worship music is a festering masturbatorial wheeze in execution. It’s the act of getting your spiritual rocks off, a forced sonic circle jerk that a roomful of people are only too eager to participate in. I mean, for Christ’s own dear sake, I saw a church rock band play Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” once. In church!

This is not a “taste” thing. I tried to make it that once. I was wrong to approach it from that direction.

It’s a reverence thing.

Let’s bacdafucup from the church experience for a minute because you’re sick of hearing about it and I’m sick of thinking about it. Let’s talk about Jacob Sunderlin, whose Hymnal (\NULL|Z0NE//) should serve as a blueprint for what actual hymnals should be striving for. Instead of massive, attention-grabbing theatrics, Sunderlin turns inward where, of course, you take care of what ails you before you take care of what ails others. Hymnal, side A, presents a man in a fractured mood, at once plaintive and, as the track progresses from banjo to sheer atmosphere, hopeful.


Doesn’t matter why, or to what. That’s between Jacob and Jacob, between you and you.

Side B does much of the same, with processed electric guitar and feedback providing the call to [worship/notworship], harmonics chiming like old New England church bells before passing through a suite of more feedback, acoustic guitar, and sheer tone. Like a benediction.

Jacob Sunderlin provides a place where the heart can be engaged by sound without employing cloying or clichéd tactics. Hymnal proves that congregations or preachers are not prerequisites for spiritual or personal renewal; there’s already a splendid sanctuary right in your own mind.

I just thought of something — I wonder if we should be approaching evangelical worship music as a form of outsider art? Oh man, now I’m really confused!

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

Most Read