Nate Parrish’s newest album comes in the form of Soul Surgery and it is gift wrapped in the perfect punk package. You instantly get caught up in the whole southern Cali punk vibe with incredible guitar riffs and an almost surfer-boy feel to the beats. Then, all of sudden you get hit with the lyrics and it’s a “hey, wait a minute” moment. What did I just hear? Nate takes no prisoners with his views on modern day religion, politics, fatherless homes, corporate greed and society in general. This album speaks to me on levels that are quite frankly unsettling. It’s like Nate is in my head and singing what I feel about so many of the issues not only facing the modern church but what is going on in this broken society. Nate embodies not only the classic punk sound and vibe, but his songs jump out at you like the true punk lifestyle that it represents. Fight the establishment no matter what the establishment is and call out their hypocrisy. Nate nails this on so many of the tracks that it is hard to imagine another album out there today that takes on these issues head on throughout the entirety of an album.
While every song on this deserves it’s own write-up, and quite frankly, we could do an entire talk segment and every song, for the sake of brevity, we will hit just a few of these tracks. You need to do yourself a favor (seriously) and listen, dissect and digest every line of every track. You will be blown away. On the off chance that you don’t dig on it as hard as we do, that’s ok, we just aren’t going to hang out anytime soon.
The first track of an album normally sets the tone for the entire album and Purpose in Pain sets the table nicely. You know you are in for a great ride when it is stated from the beginning that to grow you need both sun and rain. It’s not always sunny and 80 but those rainy days will build a great testimony. The ride continues with Nostalgia and Attention Junkies, which is a bit ironic for this review since I hope that enough people give it “attention” to give Nate’s new album some much deserved love. The title track, Soul Surgery hits the right “notes” by drawing the light to the fact that you can try to find comfort in outside remedies, but without Soul Surgery, we will continue to spin our wheels and end up going nowhere. Now we come to two of my favorite songs on the album, with the one caveat of the more I listen to the entire album, other tracks keep jumping up at me and saying “hey don’t forget about us” and then they end up being some of my faves. Anyway, Life in Dissonance and Religion of Relevance takes on difficult topics and punches them right between the eyes. Life points out the dual nature of the human spirit of trying to go with the flow because it’s the easy path to follow even though deep down we know it’s not the right road. Almost in a pleading manner, Nate implores us to follow our spiritual inner voice. When the harmony that is being pushed upon us for the sake of societal unity by the elites (total punk attitude) just doesn’t seem right, it’s ok to join him, defect, and shake your fist at the establishment. Brilliant! Where Life might be the appetizer for the punk brunch, Religion of Relevance in a 7-course meal of truth and what should be self-reflection. He highlights the weakness in the modern day American psyche and confronts the cancel-culture head on. It ends up being an anthem for true Christians to grow a spine and stop towing the line of “accepted behavior. When he sings “Let us pray - To the god of Hollywood in you we put our faith. Let us pray - Prophets in Washington teach us to obey”. And then in the next sentence for us to Walk away There’s no salvation in your Religion of Relevance, I have no faith in you and I will not repent!” Okay, I added the exclamation point, but those lines are lines that we should be shouting from the rooftops. Why in the world would we take the word of people that pretend to be other people, or bow and obey people that are simply looking out for their own interest. Genius Nate, genius!
The album continues with the same vibe and attitude of what makes punk music so intoxicating. We don’t have to do what the elites and the establishment want us to do, but resist when and where it is necessary to stay true to our one and only mission. Too many times (and I am guilty of this myself) we don’t want to make waves and just want to “get along”. That is not what we are called to do. We need to stay true to the one true King no matter what people think of us.
As you travel down the tracks you get the “in your face” lyrics delivered to you in a way that you don’t even know that you’re being convicted because of the cool vibes coming out of the additive guitar riffs.
Just when you think the album should be winding down, he drops In the Storm on us. It comes at you with gale force worship winds in what feels like an Irish ditty and the next thing you know you have a punk inspired Praise and Worship song that should be learned by worship groups around the country and be leading their congregation on Sunday mornings in this anthem to The King. Who says punk doesn’t belong on the pulpit? Not me that’s for sure
The album finishes up with This Is Who We Are which is a great testimony to exactly what the title states - this is who we are. People may look at us Christians as “odd folk” but who really cares? This is who we are! Nate revisits the title of the album by talking about pressing through the pain of the surgery of the soul just so we can be put back together again. This song also houses one of my favorite (of which there are MANY) lines on this album - “We break, we bleed, but we won’t retreat”. Simple, but powerful words showing that the road to The Kingdom was never promised as an easy road to travel but in the end, as long as we remain faithful, Grace will overcome.
You need this album in your library, not just streaming it, but buying it and playing it a lot. If you don’t believe in punk rock revival, then you haven’t been listening to Nate Parrish. You will be blown away. On the off chance that you don’t dig on it as hard as we do, that’s ok, we just aren’t going to hang out anytime soon.
Give Soul Surgery a listen (or a couple hundred listens,) and you will find that it’s a great album that you can crank with the top down or while you’re cruising on the bike at 136 decibels. This is an album that will make you challenge your way of thinking. It makes me think, am I doing enough? Am I resisting the garbage that is being force fed us and if so, what am I doing about it? I love this entire album and Nate, simply put, hits it out of the park.. So go and download it now!