The absolutely transcendent thing about music is that there is no wrong or right. It is a completely opinionated thing, in which a piece of art connects to you on some astral level or plain, moving and swaying you in a spiritual way.
I always laugh when I am asked to do a review or I read someone else’s review because the bottom line is that it’s one opinion in a sea of millions, hell billions, of music lovers out in the world. As a reviewer, I want to listen with open ears and tell you, the reader, why it did or did not float my boat. In other words, “did it get me off?” As the reader, you get to decide if I’m outta my mind crazy or if you want to throw caution to the wind and form your own opinion.
Today I was given the latest release on Perris Records for Colorado band American Rebel Soul. The self-titled release is a throwback to late 70’s, guitar-driven down-and-dirty rock n’ roll. The band has an old school vintage rock and roll sound which goes down a bluesy path traveled in the past by groups such as Zeppelin, The Black Crowes, and Lynyrd Skynyrd and more recently by Rival Sons and Blackberry Smoke. Let me be clear here, this is not to say that American Rebel Soul sounds like these bands, it is just to give you a lake in which to cast your musical net.
The band is made up of David Kubicek (vocals and guitar), Sean Quidgeon (guitar), Jimmie Earls (bass,) Dawn Kubicek (vocals), and rounded out by Jay Winslow drums).
I’ll get straight to it and not beat around the bush too much. The band is called American Rebel Soul and with that name, my expectations would be that I am getting an American hard rock band full of blues and emotion, however the band, or should I say the production falls short in delivering this to me. This record is not a bad record, but it’s not a good record either. It’s straight down the middle which in my opinion is not a good thing. The record lacks memorable hooks and melodies. It’s produced and delivered in a clean and sterilized way not meant for this kind of music.
This is a straight ahead t-shirt and blue jeans hard rock and roll record, which is always gonna be cool with me, but I needed to connect in some way with the melody, lyrics and, rhythm. I cannot say I was able to do that with this record. Maybe the issue is that when we review albums, it is based on a few listens. We don’t have the time to spend the next month deciding if the record grows on us or not.
Typically you can find 1 or 2 bright spots on any record to throw on a playlist with other artists and songs because after all isn’t that how we digest our music these days? That bright spot for me on this record is “Temptress” or as I call it “The More Cowbell Song Baby!!” It’s a fun, mid-tempo, gritty rock n’ roller that has a good pre-chorus, and pocket groove that will keep your feet moving.
The band’s first single “No Apologies” is a good representation of the album. It’s a mid-tempo rocker that moves from start to finish. Go on Youtube and decide for yourself if you like this tune or not. If you dig that, then chances are you will like the rest of the record as well.
Sometimes the best thing for a band is to have people either love them or hate them because it creates conversation and discussion. If a band exist right down the middle and you can either take them or leave them, then does anyone really care? No matter your taste, go support live and recorded Rock n’ Roll Music!!