P.J.F.: See It Through

See It Through
(Thumper Punk Records)
PJF stand for “Put Jesus First” and is the rock/metal side-project of punk band Peter118. However, stylistically, this isn’t all that different from the Peter118 material I’ve heard.

First up is the title track. It has a simplistic hard rock riff that locks into a nice groove and doesn’t let go. The vocals are partially shouted, partially sung, in such a way that it could lean either punk or hard rock/classic metal. The lyrics encourage the listener to keep their eyes on Christ: “Jesus! You’re the Savior! You’re the one who – can help me see it through!”

“Psalm 81” is summed up in its title. It’s a rock and roll rendering of the psalm in a simplified form. While the song is catchy, the melody is a little too sing-songy/kids’ camp in feel. However, there are some tasteful guitar leads on the bridge for those who like face-melting solos.

“Thinking of You” is actually a re-working of the Peter118 song of the same name, and suffers slightly from the same simplistic feel found in “Psalm 81.” Lyrically, “Thinking” tells the story of a young man finding Christ while sitting in his car pondering the deep mysteries of life. What’s strange though, is the production techniques shift entirely between track 2 and 3. It’s clear to my ears that these two songs were recorded in different sessions altogether. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it does make the release feel disjointed.

“Rise Up” is a good rock song, and is probably the first one that made me sit up and take notice. It also features better production overall than the previous three songs. The track also features the presence of layered keyboards for the first time. It’s a nice touch, but it creates a different feel from the previous songs, which are more stripped back.

“Gotta Get up off that Floor” is a country-rock romper that features the best production on the album but doesn’t really fit the rest of the material. It comes out of nowhere and while it’s a fun song, it’s such a drastic departure from the rest of the EP, it really feels out of place. Although the last 2 songs are undoubtedly the strongest of the 5, even they are so different it sounds like 2 different bands.

The lowdown is that there are some good ideas here, and certainly some encouraging lyrics, but the EP does not feel like a cohesive whole as the variation in song styles and production techniques varies so much between songs.

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