Ex-Korn guitarist Brian "Head" Welch's decision that hanging with Jesus was more important than chilling with groupies amused many familiar with that band's rather heathen endeavors. But hearing a rocker admit to being down with G-O-D isn't the albatross it once might have been. Just witness the burgeoning success of the Christian-rock-centric label Tooth & Nail, whose popularity stems from the quality of its music -- not the strength of its Bible-thumping.
Along with the venerable shoegazers of Starflyer 59, the label's youngest acolytes -- Underoath and its keyboard-frazzled screamo, Mae with its sensitive Sense Fieldisms -- prove that spirituality can be expressed without preaching from the pulpit. In fact, yet another T&N band making catechism class safe for studded belts is MewithoutYou. Rising from the ashes of the Operation, the quintet -- which is anchored by brothers Aaron (vocalist) and Mike (guitarist) Weiss -- stormed out of Philadelphia in 2002 with the J. Robbins-produced, At the Drive-In-worthy A to B Life. Last year's Catch for Us the Foxes could just as easily have been released on the Philly label Jade Tree: Slashing post-punk scissor kicks and mellow grooves reminiscent of the Clash merge with some serious Interpol-goes-moshing moodiness.