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Rebel Collective - Rebelism

Rebel Collective
by Jack Lynch at 11 June 2019, 6:29 AM

You wouldn’t be too far off base thinking the name REBEL COLLECTIVE sounds like on an online blog for bikers. It’s exactly that type of dusty blue denim, truck stop sandwich awareness the band relishes in and doesn’t need to apologize for.  This is redneck southern rock, the alternative version of a rusted-out car decomposing in an overgrown field. It’s the sharpening of the blades on an old mower deck while whiskey is being downed by the handle. It’s that deliberately dirty sound that’s equal parts sludge, groove, stoner, and post-grunge. The Swedish band wear their influences like a favorite pair of boots on their new release "Rebelism. However, no matter how much diesel exhaust the band creates they can’t escape the confines of a genre that more less stays the same, but I’m sure for some that’s perfectly fine.

Let’s start with some positives. The track “Crusader” is a bluesy high point, that has a fun degree of play between guitars and drums. The lyrics deliver and the song cruises along like the grimy El Camino with the windows down. By being a fun track to listen to it accomplishes more than much of the rest of the album.  The track “T-Rex” also pulls together a punchy chorus you’ll find yourself nodding your head to, and if you’re a fan of Buster Keaton, check out the video for this track as it’s a remixed rendition of the silent film “Battling Butler”.  Also, the occasional use of harmonica gives the album some much needed flair despite its subtle use.

However, that very last point is exactly the issue, there isn’t enough little nuances in the song writing to really get you excited, let alone have you coming back for more. Sure, there is some simple yet catchy guitar licks on “Travelling Man”, but songs about the open road, “a rolling stone”, or a wandering man is really all the album offers in terms of content. About halfway through it all feels a bit tired. Admittedly, I’m not someone that is well versed with this type of music but I’m sure those who know it well could point me in another direction.

The band has been of record stating "Rebelism" is like an “angry CLUTCH”.  Your best bet is to pretty much just throw on any album from CLUTCH then.  You’ll not only get the same degree of anger, but also some variety and piece-of-mind. "Rebelism," track-after-track gives you the same vibe and feel throughout and that’s fine for a select few who just want 12 tracks to get wasted to at their local dive.  I’m sure this album will find an audience as almost everything does nowadays. However, like myself, those seeking anything outside the genre norms will need to look elsewhere.

Songwriting: 5
Originality: 5
Memorability: 5
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Switchblade
2. T-Rex
3. Gasoline
4. Moonlight Shinedown
5. The World Is Mine
6. Crusader
7. Valentine
8. The Void
9. Romantic Related Collapse
10. In Orbit
11. Halo
12. Travelling Man
Haze - Vocals
Genz - Guitars
Een - Bass
Otto - Drums
Record Label: Sliptrick Records


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