Straight outta Belton, Texas, Flyleaf
is a teen-angst quintet that aims to inspire through depression. Lead singer Lacey Mosley's lyrics are rooted in her hardscrabble upbringing and early addiction issues, but rather than simply recap her personal tragedies, she infuses them with upbeat messages. "Fully Alive," from the band's self-titled full-length (issued in 2005), is typical: Against a big-riff backdrop, Mosley alternately croons and wails about a girl who's overcome broken bones and bad times to stand tall "in her brilliant, shiny way." This brand of Hallmark metal has a pronounced Christian subtext that comes through most clearly on "Cassie," which concerns Cassie Bernall, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings who may or may not have died because she told the killers that she believed in God. Yet it's also got enough hooks and heaviness to attract the less cynical members of the black-lipstick set.