8:01 AMListen To Liz As She Reviews: Romantic Rebel
The debut album of Chicago-based band, Romantic Rebel, is a strong introduction to this relatively new rock band. Formed in 2012 by siblings KT and Alex, this band has gained a strong following in just a few years. The past two years Romantic Rebel has written numerous original songs and filmed a music video for their single "Dirty Love Song." Set to be released on April 29, 2014, Romantic Rebel's new self-titled album is the band's first full-length album.
With a female lead singer, it is hard not to compare Romantic Rebel to other current female-led bands like In This Moment. However, lead singer KT has her own sound that separates her from the others. Citing influences such as Van Halen and Aerosmith, KT's voice keeps that edge vocalists like Steven Tyler, Sebastian Bach, and Axl Rose were known for, without losing the quality of her voice. But, when the music calls for it, KT brings a screamer's edge to her voice and lets lose. She has a lot of vocal power, and clearly knows how to control it to create the best sound for the songs. By combining her beautiful feminine voice with the hardness she brings to the songs, Romantic Rebel is an apt name for this group. But, don't expect any sappy power ballads on this album. Any love song you hear on this album is accompanied by rock guitar and strong vocals. Romantic Rebel's debut album is pure rock, all the way through.
The instrumentals of this album help solidify the hard rock sound that Romantic Rebel will be known for. The background instrumentals feature a strong hard rock rhythm and sound, which makes for a perfect accompaniment to the vocals. The drummer keeps the beat moving, while the guitarists lay down strong background instrumentals. The several guitar solos featured in the album reminded me of the 80s solos found in Guns N Roses, Aerosmith, and Van Halen. As an ensemble, Romantic Rebel creates a great hard rock sound makes you take notice.
Many of the songs on this album are catchy, as I find myself humming them throughout the day. Quite a few of the songs feature similar themes: I don't need you, I'm better off without you, I'm stronger without you, You'll miss me while I'm gone, etc. Only one song goes the opposite route and declares an undying love. I can see a few of these songs becoming a single girl's anthem. This is not a criticism, as these type of songs have helped many artists' careers, such as In This Moment, Evanescence, Pink, and No Doubt, among countless others. It does, however, seem like a trend for bands with female singers to have multiple songs declaring how strong and tough they are as women, and that no man is going to ruin them. Of course, as a woman, I find these songs embarrassingly empowering, but I'd like to hear females sing about something other than relationships, failed or otherwise. My only wish is that on their next album, Romantic Rebel will include different themes in them as well.
Overall, this album is one I would recommend listening to. I had heard the name Romantic Rebel but had never heard them, prior to listening to this album. I enjoyed the whole experience, instrumentals, vocals, and lyrics. And, I will definitely be making a trip to Chicago to see them very soon. If they rock this hard after only a few short years, I expect great things for them in the years to come.
Liz Plank - MDG
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