Genres: Rock / Post-Punk / Math-Rock /
Related artists: Your Highness Electric and National Acrobat.
Country: Kentucky, USA
Years Active: 1999-2003 and then changed to Your Highness Electric.
Song: "All Expands To Explode"
Album: "Emphasizing Function Over Design"
For fans of: At The Drive In, The Mars Volta, Choke, Face Tomorrow, Encrypt Manuscript and Cave In.
CHRISTIANSEN started off as a twinkly late-90s emo band. If you've heard the soft and sappy stuff seeping out of this time in punk, just skip the band's first ep 'Above Lunar Missions'.
In 2000 they began coming into their own - most likely due to a severe At The Drive In addiction. This is why the band appealed to me. During my 2nd year of university I was looking for anything that even remotely sounded like ATDI - Face Tomorrow and Encrypt Manuscript could only partially fill the void, luckily CHRISTIANSEN upped the ante - and incorporated a more groovin' sound and a very talented vocalist (at least at that point during Cedric Baxler's career - as he didn't acquire a proper singing voice until 'Deloused In The Comatorium', in my opinion). So, in 2001 CHRISTIANSEN released 'Emphasizing Function Over Design' which hinted at the direction the band was searching for. Check out "My Friends Remixed From Death" and the fantastic "All Expands To Explode" for prime examples.
This is where shit gets real. The 'Forensics Brothers and Sisters!' ep is probably the band's most consistent record, but their final output, 'Stylish Nihilists' comes pretty damn close. I digress. "Jhazz Never Spelled So Good" is awkward yet catchy, obtuse yet smooth - just like the second track, which has some very jerky stops and starts (not unlike Choke), but "Portable Museums" gives listeners a much harder and aggressive ditty before delving into some 'Relationship Of Command' tracks, "Let Us Now Die Famous Men"and "Transistorized Landscapes".
On their final release, 'Stylish Nihilists', CHRISTIANSEN opted for massively epic songs - and left the ATDI worship and mathy time structures in the past. Instead, they followed a much more standard verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge approach and combined that with something that's not stadium-rock riffing, but it's not far off. This album really shows the band for what they were - progressive post-hardcore dudes that initially grew up on punk and emo who ended up playing giant heavy rock anthems.
Some interesting notes. The guitarist/vocalist looked just like Sammy Hagar - but more importantly, their bass player is one of my top 5 bassists - no doubt. That guy was able to tie everything together with some of the most original and catchy bass riffs in rock music. CHRISTIANSEN were pretty quiet while they were around and only seemed to turn a few heads. Two of those were mine. Ha.
Their next incarnation continued to follow Baxler/Rodriguez from The Mars Volta - as the band changed their name to Your Highness Electric and released some stuff I have yet to find, but the single I heard was alright.
Click )==>here<==( to download CHRISTIANSEN's complete discography in mp3 form.
1999 - Above Lunar Emissions cdep
2001 - Emphasizing Function Over Design cdLP
2002 - Forensics Brothers and Sisters cdep
2003 - Stylish Nihilists cdLP
These are listed chronologically, so remember, the first link is the band's OLDER MATERIAL!!!
youtube )))))embedded audio((((( links
(2001) CHRISTIANSEN - "All Expands to Explode" (from 'Emphasizing Function Over Design' cd)
(2002) CHRISTIANSEN - "Portable Museums" (from 'Forensics Brothers and Sisters' cd)
(2003) CHRISTIANSEN - "" (from 'Stylish Nihilists' cd)
CHRISTIANSEN out-of-print discography mp3 download