By: Fridae Mattas
Looky, looky I am keeping my word, it’s another album review and this time it’s Rebel Emergency! One of the first bands I covered at the start of my professional career when I was still in college, scouting and writing for other publications. What keeps me drawn to this band year after year other than their incredible live show, is their music and versatility! They are not afraid to change it up and still incorporate that original Rebel Emergency feel, always tastefully seducing the envelope. “Aphrodisiology” is the third record released by the quartet and has a slightly different vibe than its predecessors with a more commercial mainstream formula. I’ve heard tracks from this record on Galaxy music (Radio on TV for those who don’t know what it is.) didn’t even realize it was them until I finally listened to the full record. Before I get carried away, Rebel Emergency from Toronto is; Roddy Soul – Vox, Geoff Star – Lead Guitar, Mike “Mutten Chop” Cohen – Bass and Sir Jeremy on the Drums.
On this eleven track LP, most of the songs have different yet similar elements that tie them together fluidly. To me it sounds like Rebel has figured out what works for them and this record shows their continued growth with a more mature sound. Roddy is vocally coming out of his shell and finding his own voice instead of emulating the White Bob Marley. There is still more for him to discover and refine only to get better with age like a wine. I put the record in and just let it play, not stopping or rewinding any tracks it was a full run through. After about the third album spin I decided it’s time to start writing and selecting what songs need to be listened to on repeat over and over. “Up All Night” started in like a video game in some far away fantasy land and as the opening mid tempo track, it set the tone for the album perfectly. The lyrics are clever and slutty but sweet: “You know that I’m loose how dare you seduce me.” listen to the song and you’ll know what I’m saying.
The writing, mixing and production on this record is by far their best to date and they have definitely improved as musicians. Guitars sound fantastic but I wish there were a little more and maybe a few solos somewhere. There are a few tunes on this record I am not liking so much like the song “Letters”, the only one I skipped after the first run through. There was something about the vocals that just wasn’t appealing to my ears. A stand out tune worth a listen is…”Picture This” a poppier slice reminiscent of the 80’s but with better sound and production. The following songs I had on repeat in my shuffle: “Just Wanna Kiss Ya”, “Rise And Fall” and the title track “Aphrodisiology” which is a unique funky gem of it’s own. My most favorite track on this record has to be “Lion In A Cage” which features recording artist KO. I first saw this song performed live prior to the release of the record at the 2011 Toronto Freedom Festival and I named it wrong in the video I filmed. Every element in this sonata fits so well together, from the music to the lyrics and melodic arrangements, this song gets you all pumped up and excited. Roddy’s voice sounds really good with the melody, KO’s vocals came off a little theatrical but he sounds better on record than he does live. It’s a shame too because there is all this hype surrounding him and his manager pushes his music hard but I felt like he did not live up to his hype. A few lyrics from the track “You can never hold us down… / Rising up is all the rage… / You’ll never keep us locked…locked up / We’re like a Lion in a Cage”. On that note my friends, if you like a relaxing new school fusion of rock, ska and reggae, Rebel Emergency is the band for you! This record is not to be ignored, good music for your ears buy “Aphrodisiology” HERE, you won’t want to turn it off!