Local Music Reviews
See You In Hell
Rebel Rebel = The Fratellis + The Killers
Society is a messed-up reality: The first world is burning while I’m here just sipping on my coffee watching it pass by. To make sure I’m not alone, I pair this existential dread with glitter-trash punk band Rebel Rebel’s album See You In Hell. Lead vocalist Mason Comstock amplifies his voice with satirical lyrics that expose the hypocrisy of giving a damn about the world’s issues, while continuing in a mindless daily routine out of comfort. Casper Manalo (guitar) and Dominique Westenskow (drums) bring in the rambunctious bite that fuels the energy within to start a revolution.
See You In Hell kicks off with my personal favorite, “Shame,” a toe-tapping rhythm that makes it manageable to shake off those gumpy feelings of self-doubt. There’s something reassuring when hearing, “No really, I’m fine / I don’t want to talk about it,” fully knowing that hearing voices in the walls is, in fact, not fine. There’s a familiar guitar riff that reminds me of the famous Fratellis song “Chelsea Dagger,” floating through the song as if I were on one of those tea-cups rides.
With “Apocalypse WOW,” the album transitions from light-hearted drum beats to a Jack White-esque relentless attitude. Comstock is no longer shocked that “a woman cut a baby in three,” thanks to the desensitized world and is in need of a boy who has had their 15 minutes of fame. The bass creates a deep, raspy beat to stir up the repressed frustrations of existing in a modern day apocalypse. This song has splashes of experimental instruments, such as the tambourine which builds intensity and a mysterious rattle that brings a mellow come down.
The triumph song “Fathers Day” is a real heart-string tugger. Opening with a gospel synth approach, the achy grief in the vocals shines as the first verse begins: “Thinking about your own father / Is he keeping you away.” The guitar breaks the silences with a nasally, plucky strum line that generates this sense of closure. The band is bright and uplifting as the chorus runs on with “It doesn’t matter how much you love someone if you always hurt them.” This story of the unfortunate truth that a parental figure failed their duties to guide and educate is met with a sparse and liberating melody, one that helped me find peace with my neglected inner child. –Teddy Ray