11
Mar
11

couple of reviews of the new rebel spell album…

The new Rebel Spell album “It’s A Beautiful Future” was just released on Rebel Time Records and the (lengthy) reviews are starting to come in!

From Equalizing X Distort:

The REBEL SPELL are back at it again. This is their third release and whatever it is this band writes it is great. They have the midas touch for punk rock which is hard to do because punk bands can lose their edge or become dull and flat once they discover how to play. Not the REBEL SPELL, they knew how to write a song from the very beginning and have used their passion continues to launch attack after attack at the mess around us. This is another unforgettable release. I have just started listening to this and these songs have a familiarity to them. They certainly express many things I feel like the song “All We Want” which has the chorus “All we want to be is left alone.” That is a daily mantra for me and now I have a tune to sing it along to. So the lyricist has the ability to capture sentiments of our time and like every body of knowledge that has become adopted into history it often comes down to the thinker’s ability to summarize the mood of the time. The facetiousness behind the title track speaks volumes as far as I am concerned. I also want to say that the vocalist has a unique vocal delivery derived on some of my favourite singers. Dan Rudball of OCTOBER CRISIS / BLACK DONNELLYS has always been one of my favourite singers of all time. He doesn’t really sing but he screams a delivery that has non stop momentum and always builds from the last line. I have never heard anyone belt it out until I heard the REBEL SPELL. The difference with the singer from the REBEL SPELL is that there is a hint of melody to the screaming which draws comparisons to bands like BAD RELIGION, but the REBEL SPELL have a lot more grit. The REBEL SPELL lyrics are rooted more in activism and the day-to-day and come off more grounded. There is a lot more words to a REBEL SPELL song which I appreciate because the lyricist has taken the time to really think the subject matter through. The opening lyrics to “M.I.S.S.” calls out the hiding behind intellectualism and I don’t want to mistake this for a call for stupidity. Punk is too cerebral for that and I don’t think that is the point of the song. The REBEL SPELL are for sure. I think the song is really a call to apply thought to actions if you were to boil it down to the essence and I think that is something we can all get behind. There is a song book of calls to action here within and I for one and listening. The music reminds me of early SNFU a bit but it is way more beefy and constantly charging at you. The galloping parts reminds me of pop punk but in REBEL SPELL’s case the body of music fells like it is constantly charging at me. It works well with the thought out lyrics. And the gang chorus seal the deal with a nod to early punk. There is a lot found within this latest release including a violin and a piano that you barely notice unless listening for it. And Billy Bragg has never sounded better with their cover of “The World Turned Upside Down” at the end. (Rebel Time Records – 2-558 Upper Gage Avenue, Suite 162 / Hamilton, ON / L8S 4J6 / Canada / http://www.rebeltimerecords.com)

From Dying Scene:

DIY has always been an important part of the punk scene and there is no denying that easy moving mp3s, home recording software, and a bazillion online distribution outlets have made it easier than ever for bands to get their music out to the masses.

But at some point, an over-saturation occurred; I think all of us have had the experience of glossing through a dozen bands that you couldn’t tell apart if you were listening to them on random.But I also think everyone has had that great experience of the find, the jewel at the bottom of the sifter, that moment when you hear “it”, and “it” being THE sound of punk rock no one can truly put into words. I had that moment when I stumbled upon The Rebel Spell about two years ago.

Needless to say I was strongly anticipating their latest album, “Beautiful Future,” the band’s 3rd full-length release. At this time, it looked like Rebel Time Records were revamping their website so I had to order the mp3 download directly from the Rebel Spell website. The site also passed along a really boss PDF of the album art and lyric sheet.

As a global comment, “Beautiful Future” is awesomely recorded. Instead of be perfected with spit and polish, it has the raw sound of a bare-bones approach to gear: no crazy effects, perfectly clipped and EQ’d distorted tones, or heightened vocal range. It has live band energy to it, especially in the harmonies, and a fuzzy, deep low end. The louder you play it, the better it gets.

The music is a straightforward. Three to four chords and cloud of dust. I don’t have any drummer vocabulary, but she beats the everlasting shit out of them on every song with the same muted, smashing gallops you hear in a lot of the mainstay anarcho-hardcore bands. I read somewhere they had picked up a new bass player, and it was a great pickup, bringing more upside to this release as the bass player is more prominent and distinct than in the other albums. There is Matt Freeman similarity and I mean the Matt Freeman on the first Rancid self-titled of 93’.

The band also added a few other new wrinkles. There are some lead vocals by someone other than Todd in the song “Tragedy,” a great dual punch sound. A piano and a violin were also dropped in without a seam. The vocals, both lead and backing, have always been a strong element of their past albums and stay the course in this one. The lyrics come across effortless even with a good deal of gravel in the gut. No cheesy rhyme schemes or clichéd choruses, just a stand-and-deliver approach that’s articulate. The choruses are anthemic goods, and the album is soaked with catchy, delayed call-and-responses that repeat and repeat and repeat with momentum. It’s cathartic.

The threads running through the lyrics are identification, angst and ultimately confrontation, beginning with the title song that sarcastically paints a dystopic future. The theme that runs forward from this opening is what I find most interesting about this album. From this despair comes forth a highly positive album about making difference by exposing social injustices and resisting them at every corner. Some songs like “Tragedy” and “Feel the Same” bring out the fight through a straightforward call to arms, while some songs like “Current Occupants” and “The World Turned Upside Down” have a sort of Bad Religion feel by drawing upon irony and keen observation. In the end, it’s an organic album with a free approach to putting out the music and there is no doubting that all four of these members have singing with their hearts stuffed in their mouth and bleeding on the instruments.

If you haven’t heard them, check them out. If you’ve heard them and liked them, then you’ll enjoy this one too.


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