The David Crowder* (Asterisk optional) Band was a Christian worship band formed in 1996 in Waco, Texas, and disbanded in 2012. The band members were:
David Crowder: Lead vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, programming, theremin, keytar, electric guitar
Jack Parker: Electric guitar, background vocals, Rhodes piano, mandolin, banjo
Mike Dodson: Bass guitar, keyboard, cello
Mike Hogan: Violin, strings, turntables, guitar, keyboard
Jeremy Bush a.k.a. B-Wack: Drums, percussion, bells, programming
Mark Waldrop: Electric guitar, miscellaneous instruments
During their tenure, the band released eight full-length albums:
Pour Over Me (1998)
All I Can Say (1999)
Can You Hear Us? (2002)
A Collision (or 3 + 4 = 7) (2005)
Church Music (2009)
Give Us Rest or (A Requiem Mass in C [The Happiest of All Keys]) (2012)
Tropes that apply to the David Crowder Band include:
All There in the Manual: The concepts behind the band's albums are often explained in verbose detail by Crowder, via his blog or interviews. Not all of the complexity is immediately apparent by listening to the song lyrics, which can often be intentionally simplistic.
Church Music, for example, is intended to reference different moments in the history of worship music used by the church, one for each song in chronological order.
The band's final album, Give Us Rest, follows the structure of a requiem mass.
Without reading the manual, you'd never know why only a snippet of "You Alone" can be found on Can You Hear Us?, or where to get the other segments of the song.
Book Ends: Church Music is 72 minutes of non-stop music, with the final song fading into the same electronic sound effects heard at the very beginning of the first song. The titles - "Phos Hilaron (Hail Gladdening Light)" and "In the End (O Resplendent Light!)" are a definite hint at the intended continuity. Put the album on repeat to get the intended, seamless effect.
Deadpan Snarker: Some of Crowder's blogs can come across this way, when he rambles on with mock enthusiasm over something he considers to be ridiculous.
Sometimes this becomes a bit of a Sarcasm Failure, as he tends to be similarly verbose about things he genuinely considers to be awesome.
It's also difficult to tell if some of his comments about the band's music are intended as a humorous response to fans who misunderstand his lyrics. For example, this explanation of the song "Can I Lie Here":
Denser and Wackier: A Collision was quite convoluted compared to the more straightforward Illuminate. Zig-zagged when Remedy was an intentional return to relative simplicity after this, and then Church Music upped the ante on complexity by a considerable degree.
And then came their final double album. Hoo boy.
Department of Redundancy Department: "We Win!", "Thank You For Hearing Me", "Rain Down"... actually, a lot of their songs repeat verses or have overly repetitive refrains, which is common in Christian worship music.
Several songs on Give Us Rest are like this, due to the structure of the requiem mass used as the source material.
Doing It for the Art: These guys put a lot of work into their music videos. "SMS (Shine)" is a standout example, being a stop-motion animated video done with Lite-Brite pegs that tells a story, with elements from within the story interacting with the world outside of the screen. A behind-the-scenes video demonstrates the excruciating amount of work involved.
Easter Egg: The "Goodreader" weblinks at the ends of the liner notes for all the albums since Can You Hear Us?. Currently, only Goodreader 4 & 5 are active.
Can You Hear Us? contains a snippet of "You Alone", the song that initially got the band discovered, as a hidden track. It only contains the bridge and final chorus. Where are the other 2/3 of the song? Apparently, clues to their whereabouts were contained in the liner notes for Illuminate and A Collision. These links are now dead and the a full studio version of the song was never released, so keep circulating the mp3s.
Epic Rocking: The seven-minute "God Almighty, None Compares". In an unusual move for Christian worship music, the last two minutes and change are an intentionally over-the-top guitar—and violin—solo.
"Intoxicating" is a good example of epic acoustic rocking.
Give Us Rest has the "Sequence", a 16-minute suite split into seven different tracks at the end of the first disc.
Everything Is an Instrument: A flatlining heart monitor sets the tone at the beginning of "Come Awake", and later, an alarm clock rings out in tune with the song's climax. Both sounds are significant to the meaning of the song.
Fading into the Next Song: The songs on Church Music go to great lengths to enforce this, speeding up or slowing down rhythms to mimic a non-stop dance mix, or even using sound effects to bridge the gaps in a few instances. As mentioned above under Book Ends, even the beginning and end of the album tie together in this fashion.
Illuminate did this beautifully with the segue from "Intoxicating" into "How Great".
Genre Roulette: Most of their later albums, but A Collision deserves special mention for its unexpected forays into seemingly everything from electronica to bluegrass. "Be Lifted or Hope Rising" shifts styles rather abruptly mid-song.
Give Us Rest quite intentionally mimics this aspect of A Collision.
Last Note Nightmare: The mellow final verse of "I Saw the Light" ends rather abruptly... and loudly.
Long Title: A Collision names many of its tracks according to the Sufjan Stevens school of thought (which is appropriate, since the band covers Stevens' "O God Where are You Now (In Pickerel Lake? Pigeon? Marquette? Mackinaw?)"
Most ridiculously, a ten-second guitar feedback interlude is titled "(Repeat/Return) or When the Seventh Angel Sounded His Trumpet, and There Were Loud Voices in Heaven, Which Said: 'The Kingdom of the World Has Become the Kingdom of Our Lord and of His Christ, and He Will Reign Foreverandever, Etc...'"
And then there's the album title Give Us Rest or (A Requiem Mass in C [The Happiest of All Keys]), which uses nested parenthesis.
Love Is A Drug: "Intoxicating". Kind of a funny trope to encounter in Christian music, though there is Biblical precedent for it.
Non-Appearing Title: The "Birmingham" part of "Birmingham (We Are Safe)". Crowder has played coy with the details about whether it's meant to reference the city in England, or the one in Alabama.
Ominous Latin Chanting: Used a few times on their final album, Give Us Rest. Justified since the entire album is based on a requiem mass. Though not all instances of it are intended to be ominous.
One of Us: Members of the band seem to embrace a geeky image. Notable examples include rigging a Guitar Hero controller for use as an actual instrument in live performances of "...neverending...", and the creation of Steve 3PO the robot drummer for their Church Music tour.
The Oner: Their video for "How He Loves" appears to be this, but they mess around with the playback speed quite a bit, making the video appear to be fast-forwarding during the most intense moments of the song, and slowing down again for the quieter moments.
Piss Take Rap: "B-Wack Be Creepin'". Some fans apparently thought this was seriously going to be the band's new musical direction. This amused Crowder greatly.
The Power of Rock: How the band defeats the menacing squirrels in the "Foreverandever Etc..." video.
Punny Name: The fact that "wholly" and "holy" sound the same is emphasized in "Wholly Yours".
"Fall on Your Knees" attempts something similar, with the line "Fall on your knees in wonder" crammed up against itself so that it sounds like the word "Wonderful" where the end meets the beginning of the next.
Rearrange the Song: The band has released several "remix" E Ps, with the rule generally being that acoustic songs get electronic remixes while electronic or heavier rock songs get the acoustic treatment. This led to several songs from Illuminate getting techno remixes on Sunsets & Sushi, and songs from the highly electrified A Collision and Church Music getting stripped down in the form of B Collision and the Summer Happiness EP.
Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Pretty much anything Crowder writes that is not a song. Particularly funny when it's used to describe something mundane. This can be surprising to those who are used to Crowder's largely simplistic lyrics.
Shaggy Dog Story: During the Illuminate tour, Crowder told a long story in between songs about how he came to own the former residence of the man who invented Dr. Pepper, only to find that the property was overrun with squirrels. He described his stand-offs with the squirrels in great detail, only to conclude at the end that the moral of the story was, "Squirrels are evil".
Which became a bit of a Brick Joke when the band created their animated music video for "Foreverandever Etc...".
Spell My Name with a "The": Intentionally averted earlier in the band's career, as Crowder didn't feel it necessary to refer to himself as the genuine article, asserting that the group may change their position if other groups called "The David Crowder Band" came into being. However, they've started using "The" in front of their name more recently.
Stealth Pun / Fridge Brilliance: A Collision has tracks subtitled "A Walk Down Stairs" and "B Walk Down Stairs", and the companion EP is called B Collision. Those who study the album's back cover will notice that the album is split into four parts, the first being "A Part" (possibly referring to sin keeping us apart from God, or the concept of holiness as being "set apart") and the final being "D Part" (the album dealing more and more with death and our eventual "departure" for heaven as it gets deeper in).
Teasing Creator / Mathematician's Answer: In explaining his songs, Crowder sometimes seems to get a kick out of being overly wordy or intentionally vague. Though it's not to make fun of the audience, really - it's more to prompt them to think more deeply about their own questions.
Uncommon Time: "Our Happy Home", while played in common time, ends with an eighth note getting clipped off of each successive measure of the drum beat until there's nothing left.
Also parts of "Heaven Came Down" and "In the End (O Resplendent Light!)"