A point could be made that the skateboarding Christian youth culture of late nineties would not have been the same if it wasn’t for two bands: MxPx and Five Iron Frenzy (FIF). When I was a young teenager in the aforementioned culture, FIF seemed to come up in conversation quite a bit. There were many Christian ska bands back in the day but none of them were FIF. Their talent was not the only factor which set the band apart. FIF’s front man Reese Roper wrote some interesting lyrics which weren’t about the typical Christian rock issues. In addition to solid Christian songs, he wrote about history, the problems with consumerism, and geeky endeavors.
Five Iron Frenzy also set themselves apart with their humor and a lot of their songs almost approach Weird Al levels in goofiness. Take the song, Pre-Ex-Girlfriend. The whole song is about how a girl is too good for the narrator; therefore, he will only be rejected. I can’t think of another Christian band who would write such a song but this was par for the course for FIF. Even funnier is the fact that the following song on the album is Far, Far Away, a very serious Christian song about how we have all been sinners and we have hope in Christ.
The musical content and talent put out by FIF was probably the best in ska music. What set them apart was the fact that they were much harder than most bands in the genre. Thus, they exhibited more of a punk/ska vibe than just a straight up ska sound. Five Iron Frenzy is a band you do not find on most Christian rock lists, but, I do believe that they are one of the most important Christian rock bands in the genre’s history. FIF showed us a Christian band does not have to follow the road most travelled while influencing countless bands in the process.
Favorite song: Blue Mix