I’ve long been singing the praises of NYC heavies Rebelmatic. My once burgeoning fandom first bloomed into obsession with the release of 2020’s Ghost in the Shadows LP. Having retroactively swallowed whole their killer discography, the band’s latest is no exception.
In advance of heading down South to decimate stages, the band has returned with the standalone single “Amnesia.” Hitting the road with their, uhhh, “kind buds” Weedeater, there are few tours as fiery to beckon the coming thaw or spring.
Rebelmatic has long plumbed the depths of rock and roll and protest music. This go round, the band’s punk leaning excavation has led them even further back in time.
The band here wink sneakily in tribute at the genre’s foremost progenitor… the trailblazing force of nature that was Little Richard. Bookended with an audience being playfully rebuked, it’s as much a callback to Richard’s antagonistic crowd work as it is a send off to those still somehow asking for “less talk, more rock.” Few bands so seamlessly incorporate the entire recorded history of guitar music into their sound, but Rebelmatic isn’t just any band.
The moment Rebelmatic vocalist Creature launches into “Shut up, shut up, shut up…”, a sharp snare crack and unadorned, nasty guitar riff kicks off the proceedings. This far into the band’s life and they’ve at last found the perfect sound for their incendiary, live band feel. Landing on good production for a band that makes its hay in front of sweaty crowds is no small feat. It’s airy, expansive, and immediate without sacrificing their taut, lived-in energy that, after this long, plays more like alchemy.
As always, the aforementioned polymath frontman drops killer one-liners built for the mic grab and singalong. The well tread “gonna die young” and “held my tongue” both somehow feel new in the band’s capable hands. Always on point with backing vocals, a simple run of “whoas” elevates the proceedings from catchy to straight up anthemic. When you’re riding with Rebelmatic, the kill shot is never far away.
This go round, they set their sights on the OG mass murderer and colonizer. Aside from being an absolute bullseye line, “Columbus was a terrorist” also serves to lampoon every lunkheads that’s ever shouted “shut up and play.” The music is the message, forever and always.
The band’s more metallic hardcore instincts always manage an appearance and, as expected, they drop a barnburner right around the 1:40 mark. As triumphant as it is, it manages to enrage as much as it does soundtrack a collectively won victory over apathy.
“Amnesia” be damned, it’s nigh on impossible to forget what makes this band so fucking exciting. Here’s to hoping the NYC band never, in fact, shuts up. Catch ‘em this month:
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