It’s a Beautiful Future (Rebel Time)
Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon once said, describing the rock transaction, that “people pay to see others believe in themselves.” True enough, but sometimes people pay to see others believe in something bigger than themselves, too.
Case in point: the Rebel Spell, aka “Vancouver’s best punk band under 50”, whose new album rivals its first, 2003’s Expression in Laymen’s Terms, for vitality. While punk has been done like this before—from the machine-gun delivery of anarcho-communist lyrics to the rolling bass lines and anthemic background “whoas”—it’s seldom been done so sincerely, and you can easily imagine singer Todd Serious pacing and soul-searching to get the words just right. Cynics might think that taking punk seriously is pretty boneheaded at this point, but I for one get chills listening to a song like “Feel the Same” or the cover of radical folkie Leon Rosselson’s “The World Turned Upside Down” (which has also been covered by Billy Bragg).
Punk is hardly dead—but not many bands are doing it this well these days. Highly recommended.