The yellow and black attack is back. The 1980s band as famous for their faith as their heavy metal hymns will play a show at the Music Factory in Battle Creek.

Ah, the 80s... If you remember the hairband scene from the decade of greed, you probably remember Stryper. They were the band that tried to rock as hard as Van Halen and Motley Crue, but did it not for the girls, the drugs, and the fame, but for the Lord. Somewhere in that part of your brain labeled "useless knowledge," might be stored the fact that Stryper's name was based on a Bible verse (Isiah 53:5), but did you know the name had another meaning? Robert Sweet, drummer, and brother of singer Robert Sweet, created a backronym for Stryper: "Salvation Through Redemption, Yielding Peace, Encouragement, and Righteousness".

Stryper's debut ep The Yellow and Black Attack came out in 1984, and they toured extensively, opening for bands like Ratt and Bon Jovi. A memorable part of their live show was when the band threw Bibles out into the audience. Their debut album Soldiers Under Command went Gold in 1985, selling more than half a million copies, followed by To Hell with the Devil the next year. The power ballad "Honestly" put them in hot rotation on MTV.

I was as surprised as you are to find out that Stryper has been busy lately putting out a new record- their 13th, in 2020 called Even the Devil Believes. They have a podcast (doesn't everybody have a podcast now?) and have launched a kickstarter for a documentary film on the history of the band. My favorite piece of merch from the Stryper website is a 1/18th scale model of the yellow and black striped van- the "battle van", that was on the cover of their debut album. Sadly, there is a production delay due to COVID.

Now, in 2022, we're still talking about Stryper, because the band is still touring. Three of the four original members are in the lineup: singer/guitarist Robert Sweet, guitarist Oz Fox, and drummer Robert Sweet. Bass player Tim Gaines has been in and out of the band a couple of times and has been replaced by Perry Richardson from Firehouse. They will bring their bible-thumping antics and heavy metal anthems to the Music Factory in Battle Creek for a concert in September.

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