PJ BOSTIC: Faith of Least Resistance

Paul releases his solo work under the PJ Bostic moniker and his latest release, Faith of Least Resistance, stakes his claim to the top of many “best of” lists.

Progressive rock music has always been a showcase for the most talented players. The Pearts, Squires, and Petruccis are constantly topping the best performers lists. Then there are the multi-headed talent hounds that not only excel at one instrument, but in many. Kerry Livgren, Neal Morse, Trevor Rabin, and Eric Gilette are great examples. There are even fewer that can write, sing, produce, and play every instrument needed for a great progressive rock album. Paul Roraback is one such animal.

Paul is best known as the drummer for the bands Grammatrain and One Bad Pig. He also had a stint in the pioneering band, Bloodgood. Paul releases his solo work under the PJ Bostic moniker and his latest release, Faith of Least Resistance, stakes his claim to the top of many “best of” lists.

Although Paul originates from Seattle, he sounds like he was born and raised in Toronto. There is nary a hint of Seattle alternative in this release, but it oozes Canadian prog goodness. Paul is heavily influenced by that great Toronto trio, Rush, and he weaves this proudly throughout his music. Let’s jump in and examine Faith of Least Resistance.

Production: Gobsmackingly delicious! I can usually pick out at least one aspect of a record to nit-pick on. Sometimes the bass is too low in the mix, or the guitars drown out the vocals; however, the production on Faith of Least Resistance is spot on. Paul lets the songs breathe, lending them dynamics not often heard in today’s compression heavy production trends. Every instrument can be heard in their own space. The vocals are right in the center, up-front where they need to be.

Songwriting: In 1979 Rush switched gears from writing long, multi-part, prog epics to condensing all those music ideas into shorter, easier to digest tracks. Paul has followed this pattern, giving us short songs crammed with a multitude of musical ideas. Their accessible melodies bely the insane complexity of these compositions. Each track has instrumental breaks and solos, but none wear out their welcome. Paul’s writing philosophy is obviously, “the song’s the thing”.

Vocals: The vocal delivery is very much akin to Rush’s Presto release. Paul does have a warmer less nasal tone than Geddy Lee. This difference makes PJ Bostic’s sound a bit more accessible than his influences.

Instrumentation: How can one man be so good at every instrument he picks up? His bass playing is lively and all over the neck in the best possible way. His guitarwork is multi-layered and inventive. And his percussion work, oh my! Let’s put this in perspective – My all-time favorite band is Dream Theater, followed by Kansas, Rush, Journey, and Iron Maiden. One thing all these bands have in common are great drumming. So, when I say a drummer is incredible, I am stacking that drummer against some rather good company. And Paul Roraback is a top five drummer. His playing isn’t only complex in a timing sense, but also very musical. His kit is huge, and he takes full advantage of every piece.

Lyrics: Paul has something to say! The lyric sheet is prefaced with this statement, “The church is being compromised by false teachers gaining momentum under the banners of Progressive, emergent, and Liberal Christianity.” He goes on to state, “Though every sin and flaw be found in me, May God use this broke vessel to shine the light of truth. May the glory of God be revealed through this work which I believe He has enabled me to create, whatever the future may bring.” The lyrics to the songs are equally as bold. “God of All Creation” proclaims:

I believe in the God above all creation

I believe in the God above all nations

The blood at Calvary paid a price for me

I will speak for the truth

And the light of salvation

Every song is a bold tackling of topics like media lies, the evil side of socialism, mindless entertainment, and false prophets and teaching in the church. This isn’t light, airy, feel-good writing. Paul is burdened for the church and isn’t holding back.

2021 is shaping up to be a stellar year for Christian hard rock and metal. PJ Bostic’s next release is another candidate for album of the year. I can’t stop listening to it.

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