Hailing from Bangor, Northern Ireland, Rend Collective Experiment's (now known as Rend Collective) "Organic Family Hymnal" is 6 years-old come September 28. The band's success began at home as a movement of 20-somethings that has now begun to spread across Europe to the Americas and beyond.
Charting a unique course, Rend Collective Experiment is a group of friends collectively wondering how to make sense of the conundrum of life, God and community. What Rend Collective Experiment's 15-plus members add to the conversation are melodies, harmonic progression and lyrics that are scriptural and contemporary, fresh and ancient. The resulting mix has already gathered endorsements from Dr. Tony Campolo, Francis Chan and David Crowder, who also added his unmistakable vocals and creativity on the sweeping modern rock textures of the song, "Faithful," a featured track on Organic Family Hymnal.
Media critics applauded the debut recording from Rend Collective Experiment:
"Worship music fans who love the ego-less vibe and full-hearted melodies of the Passion and Hillsong movements are hereby advised to make time for Northern Ireland's Rend Collective Experiment... There's a pastoral pop minimalism about the whole thing that feels like both classic 1960s folk scene and modern indie-band cool; 'Come On' and the single 'Movements' wouldn't be out of place in an iPod or hybrid car commercial, for example." - Crosswalk.com
"With a pure, raw and more indie than contemporary sound, Rend Collective Experiment...is anything but predictable. Sometimes experiments can go dangerously wrong. But other times, a beautiful creation is birthed out of a pantry of ingredients all thrown together. RCE knew how to stir it up and created a fresh sound that intrigues as much as it invites." - Worship Leader Magazine
"In all honesty, the sound and authenticity that this band offers through their dynamic, loveable and contagious form of worship is... poetically delicious...spiritually explosive!" - Breathecast.com
"How pleasant it can be when the music makes a critic work to find a way to describe it. Such is the enjoyable case with Irish Praise & Worship ensemble Rend Collective Experiment...Fans of the Christian-identified college radio favorites such as Sufjan Stevens, Danielson and The Polyphonic Spree will hear plenty to embrace here...A refreshing lyrical depth rides alongside the music, too. Incorporation of and a familiarity with rich pre-20th century hymnody informs many of the Collective's 13 songs...Organic Family Hymnal makes for a singular listening experience worthy of modern P&W lovers' consideration." - CBA Retailers + Resources
"...over in Europe, something new is afoot! And it is being called Rend Collective Experiment. While it's not the modern worship music sounds that are commonly heard, it might be a foreshadowing of things to come...Garnering similar sounds to that of indie superstar Sufjan Stevens, David Crowder and a pinch of ska, it's definitely not your parents' collection of old hymns." - JesusFreakHideout.com
"High marks for lyrical creativity and integrity because of the anti-triteness they endeavor to pursue. There are some poets in the group to be sure..." - Worship Musician
Rend Collective Experiment is a nod to the places in Scripture where it says to "rend your hearts" and not your garments, a bold call to be genuine. Having been established in a natural, non-manufactured environment of a student movement representing numerous churches, the band's songs came from an organic environment, searching after the heart of God and reflecting what God was doing and teaching the members.
"We're a 'collective' that is not into the celebrity aspect of the worship scene - a bunch of guys and ladies, a body, an experiment in progress," explains Rend Collective Experiment member Gareth Gilkeson, helping to underscore why the band's images do not feature individual faces. "Our heads are getting shaped by anything from John Piper, with his straight down the middle, pure Bible, pure Jesus teaching, to Tony Campolo. I love the way that Tony is always talking about the need for justice, always pushing the agenda of the poor, always reminding us of the need to connect with God in more ways than we're used to."
"Come On My Soul"
"You Bled (Jesus Loves Me)" [www.youtube.com/watch?v=3N3h0BKV6gw]
"God Is Near"
"Above Everything Else"
"You Are Love"
"Thine Be The Glory"
"Find Your Kindness"