Friday, August 26, 2011

Review: Revel 9 “The Razorblade Diaries” [EP]

Modern rock
From the ashes of the Long Island band Gee Davey comes a reborn modern rock band christened Revel 9. Band founder, guitarist, and lead singer/songwriter DJ Pearlman is the force behind Revel 9, who led the retooling effort that redefined the sound he’s been chasing. The debut EP is a six pack called “The Razorblade Diaries” that loosely chronicles a familiar tale of a 20-something dude meeting the girl of his dreams, finding love and losing love, then finding any way he can to win her back. Sigh.

Yes, it is a tired story but there is always a new generation of 20-somethings going through it. So at least for that demographic it won’t be such a ‘been there, done that’ affair. For the rest of us, you’ll have to hope that you can extract some innovation out of the lyrical twists. What is going to make or break your opinion about Revel 9 has more to do with the music – pounding, thrashing, crank it up to 11 guitars and drums. Pearlman purposely steered towards the dark side to capture the sound he wanted for this EP, but he did that at the expense of maintaining a solid hook that would make the song more memorable. Pearlman wanted to avoid a pop sound, but doesn’t seem to realize that the most successful modern rock can be melodic without being coated in syrup.

Despite these shortcomings, there are some standouts that reach towards a more memorable musical experience. The intensity of opener “San Jose” is palpable and Pearlman impresses with his perfect rock vocal tone and blistering guitar licks. If anyone can bring back the guitar solo, it could be DJ Pearlman. “Only One” is another muscular highlight and the closing track “Without” has a moderately catchy chorus. If you like bands like Hinder, Hawthorne Heights, or Saliva, you might want to give Revel 9 a listen.

Revel 9Official site.

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