Relient K

Canton, Ohio's Relient K formed in 1998 and joined the parade of Christian punk-pop artists (MxPx, Ghoti Hook, Slick Shoes, etc.) with their self-titled 2000 debut, mixing catchy melodies and snotty attitude with spiritual concerns. The record was produced by dc Talk guitarist Mark Townsend, and the band was comprised of vocalist/guitarist/pianist Matt Thiessen, guitarist Matthew Hoopes, bassist Brian Pittman, and drummer Stephen Cushman. David Douglas joined up in place of Cushman by the year's end, and Relient K followed up in August 2001 with The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek. The album sold 300,000 copies and Relient K's momentum continued to build as they played nearly 200 shows in North America before the year closed out. A third full-length, Two Lefts Don't Make a Right... But Three Do, debuted at number 38 on Billboard's Top 200 album chart upon its release in spring 2003. The band didn't waste any time recording a fourth album; MMHMM, produced by lead singer Thiessen and dc Talk's Townsend and mixed by Tom Lord-Alge, was released in November 2004 by Gotee/Capitol. MMHMM scanned over 51,000 copies sold during its first week, hitting number 15 on the Top 200 and number one for Christian albums. It eventually went gold, Relient K's third consecutive album to do so, and the band's mainstream crossover was in full swing with singles "Be My Escape" and "Who I Am Hates Who I've Been" doing very well on modern rock radio and MTV.