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Space - Bleach (1996)

Reveling in a childlike faith, Bleach debuts with eleven strong songs and an anthemic, powerful rock sound. After listening to Static, I wondered if their debut was as formulaic; that assumption is proven untrue, as the five members of the band share song credits on tracks challenging listeners to open up their hearts, minds and worldview—their Space—to Christ's transforming power. "Eleven" starts off the album with a plea to stop and assess your misled focus. The simple melody "Perfect Family" is a tongue-in-cheek story of the rewards of those who live for Christ. With dynamic sound, bleach challenges infatuation with beauty ("Epidermis Girl"), deeply held bitterness ("Tea for Two"), and the emptiness of culture ("Cold and Turning Blue"). Track six resolves the conflict of the aforementioned tracks, pointing to Christ as the answer...only once I admit I'm a filthy, sin-stained "Child of Sod." Bleach continues their assault on accepting carnal philosophy, mindset and standards in "Crystals and Cash." Apparently inspired by member Sam Barnhart's wife Angela, "Wonderful" describes a true love where two walk as one guided by Christ. "Cannonball" is an open declaration of the Great Commission—when our lives are a "gift from Him to Him," the superficial boundaries of reaching the world can break down. Space's shortest and most acoustic-minded track struggles with Christians' total hypocrisy and "Sugar Coated Ways", while the closer states directly the album's purpose: "I don't want to be your priest ~ I just want to be your friend ~ I'm not here to laugh at you ~ Or condemn." Let bleach in your Space and hear for yourself the early years of artistic originality.