REBEL SOUL REVIVAL – Rebel Soul Revival (2018)
REBEL SOUL REVIVAL is a band / project crated by vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Matt Keen, which has just released their new, self-titled album. This Chicago, US based act conjures the best elements of American blues-rock, classic hard rock and Southern rock into a superb mix plenty of soulful melodies.
Matt Keen was part of several bands with different musical styles, but his passion is classic rock. He’s a rocker at heart and has finally formed a band that matches his nature in every way.
From soulful bluesy-rock with a grit and kick inspired by American classic bands, to classic hard rock from the hand of Led Zeppelin, the material he has composed for REBEL SOUL REVIVAL brings an intensity that skews the lines between classic and current.
While the current line up of REBEL SOUL REVIVAL is a traditional 4-piece which play all over the Chicago area, the recording of these songs were done in a ‘multi-project’ way.
The record was taped in segments throughout 2014 – 2018, there’s several musicians involved, and the idea was to release the bulk of tracks in three parts. The first appeared in 2015 as an EP.
In fact, we are featuring here part 2 & 3, being part 3 titled “Rebel Soul Revival” from track 1 to 8, then 9 to 13 is another EP titled “Soul” (part 2) also released 2018.
Anyway, all the material sounds homogenic, focused in style.
And we are talking about classic rock here, the good, timeless classic rock of all times written and performed from the heart. This is a self-managed release, but don’t be fooled, production / mix is really good.
Most the songs are midtempo, bluesy based rockers with a strong rockin’ feeling, bordering hard rock. We find a jammin’ rocker in opener ‘Cookin”, where Matt Keen make use of his raspy vocals – some kind of a young Paul Shortino – for good effect, and there’s a killer, ‘valvular amp’ fueled guitar solo.
‘Don’t Knock It’ adds a touch of funkyness to the proceedings, similar to Richie Kotzen solo works (great melodic tune), ‘Candy Flippin” is plenty of atmospheres, while ‘Squeeze’ rocks harder with lots of groove.
‘Regulars’ has a late Led Zeppelin feeling, ‘Turn It Up’ is not far from Rival Sons material, then title track ‘Rebel Soul Revival’ is a killer, organic classic hard rocker with a lovely melody and some stupendous guitar interplay and strong lead vocals.
One of my favorites here is the excellent ‘Don’t Get Mad (Get Even)’, and I can’t help but Kingdom Come comes to mind. The way the verses build to the bridge is Kingdom Come / Lenny Wolf trademark, as the main melody as well. Great song.
More bluesy funk in the Kotzen mold arrives with ‘You Know I Do’, the dynamic ‘Down the Line’ brings to mind great classic rockers Carousel Vertigo (featured here at 0dayrox), and the slow, hazy ‘Tavern Lights’ puts you into whiskey-soaked barroom late at night.
REBEL SOUL REVIVAL is a true, from the heart classic rock band / album, made with blood, steel and wood, real instruments and real musicians.
There’s a feeling of authenticity all over this record, no prefabricated approach, in short, honest music from the guts, very well composed, performed and recorded.
01 – Cookin’
02 – Don’t Knock It
03 – Candy Flippin’
04 – Squeeze
05 – Regulars
06 – Don’t Get Mad (Get Even)
07 – Turn It Up
08 – Rebel Soul Revival
09 – Chase Me
10 – You Know I Do
11 – Down the Line
12 – Hard Time
13 – Tavern Lights
Matt Keen: vocals, guitar, keys, harmonica, bass
Steven Andrew Doepke – guitar, vocals
Aaron Martinez – drums
Kevin McMahon – bass
Joel Ream, Bruce Bishop: guitar
Andrew Vog, Hank Norris: bass
Max Popp, Nick Stetina: drums
BUY IT !