Last updated on 6 September 2021
Rebel Rampage live their music true to their name. And that’s the least you can say. Their 2018 record Divided We Fall bemoans the perceived wrongs that befell modern society in the US. And I daresay, they for sure find loads of ammunition during these times of confused and embarrassing chaos coming from the centers of power in Washington.
Of course, this kind of theme is nothing new. Specifically, the punk scene famously performed that feat. And that up to their very own self-destruction back in their heyday. Interestingly, the scene is creeping back into the light. But it’s a weak offshoot of what it once was.
And it is not politics that piqued my interest in Rebel Rampage, though. The band embed their rebel yells into a pretty juicy mix of Heavy and Punk Rock with some stout grunge and garage flavor added into the mix. And looking at the ‘who’s who’ of recording, mixing, and mastering on Divided We Fall, the outcome is not necessarily a surprise.
Thus, we had the RMR deck crew enjoy this funky mix between remnants of old-style Nirvana, the roughness of All Else Fails, lackadaisical Last Bullet and straight post-punk of the likes of Infected Syren. All of that served on a platter of scratchy, almost grouchy defiance.
In fact, this record forms part of the emergence of a new-ish rock style that is not metal, not Hard Rock, but heavy enough to please even metal-laden ears. What sets Rebel Rampage apart, though, is this refreshing variation from track to track in a style that usually grows stale fast.
Albeit that the band still needs to define its niche a tad better. To really set them apart from the pack, and this is a shark pond out there. In other words, a lot of what they present, we kinda heard before in some way or form. And that is a pity.
As far as the tracks go, things look pretty good. Apart from the dud in pole position, all of the tracks certainly have a lot of merits, and none of them truly sucks. It is however telling that the cover almost ranks best. The interpretation of Immigration Man (Crosby & Nash) shows that grit and energy many other tracks lack. That’s new passion on an old record right there, and – of course – fully aligned to their theme.
As a close second, I Am The Power with Emily Armstrong (Dead Sara) is particularly noteworthy. Boy, we truly relished that Halestorm-esque belting. Powerful, grimy, plain good. Yet again, it’s the guest singer who pulled the boat out of the mud. Just sayin’.
Finally, if you like a meaty crunch of Heavy Rock on a foundation of punk-infused rebellion, then Divided We Fall should certainly live in your music collection. We surely enjoyed delving into this decidedly juicy slab of rock. Even if not everything is yet perfect. But then, nobody expected that.
Label: 928102 Records DK2 | Web: Facebook
Release date: 5 October 2018