Rebel City Radio ‘Hello Hypocrite, Hypocrite Hello’ – album review

Rebel City Radio ”ËœHello Hypocrite, Hypocrite Hello’
Killer Shark Records
CD/DL ”“ Available now

Should it matter where a band are from? Quite simply, no ”“ Does it matter where a band are from? It seems so”¦ Rebel City Radio are a case in point, hailing from the West Midlands – Dudley to be precise. ”ËœHello Hypocrite, Hypocrite Hello’ is the first full length from a band who should they have been able to cite Los Angeles, California as home would by now be gracing headlining stages at festivals across the globe with label support from such punk heavyweights as Epitaph/Hellcat, Fat Wreck etc

Thankfully Rebel City Radio have not let mere geography dent their commitment to the cause, they describe their sound as ”Ëœno bullshit 4-chord Punk Rock n’ Roll’ ”“ well they certainly don’t worry about current trends or fashion; what they do is deliver a spellbindingly energetic and downright raucous racket.

Opening with a burst of feedback, and a police siren before they launch into the bass heavy, hook laden ”ËœNo Guts ”“ No Glory’ complete with instant sing-a-long terrace chanting “stand up, fist up, middle finger says it all” ”“ its instantly obvious where Rebel City Radio are going with this release. With a line-up comprising two ex members of The Strawberry Blondes, namely Joey Briggs (drums) and Mac Mayhem (vocals/gtr) we are deep in the heart of Clash/Rancid inspired punk, however this is no mere sound-alike band, Rebel City Radio have produced a rich sounding, adrenaline pumping album that clearly defines their sound and elevates them above the now following pack. ”ËœJohnny Got Led Astray’ features a fantastic melody, some treated lead vocals and backing harmonizing not dissimilar to Goldblade et al

Lyrically the band are in familiar questioning territory; ”ËœSign The Dotted Line’ opens with a Dead Kennedys style guitar riff and rasping twin lead vocals making this one of the stand-out tracks; focusing on the cross-over from youth and optimism to a dismal realism learned through experience. However there’s a pinch of hope in there, with the knowledge that all ‘revolutions’ are born from the inside-out not from the outside-in, and that in itself is something to cling to.

”ËœLast Goodbye’ is more melodic pop-rock than punk though that certainly isn’t a criticism, it merely demonstrates Rebel City Radio’s eclectic outlook. The song basically tells a story of a past summer during which vocalist Robbie Sparks was unemployed (through choice), had no settled home (through choice), no other commitments (again through choice) and had no concerns other than where his next drink was coming from, all to a backdrop of sunny afternoons on the park listening to The Smiths.

”ËœRapunzal’ has ska-punk overtones but again with paint peeling vocal delivery; It’s a short and blunt social comment about Paris Hilton/Katie Price ‘types’, with an aim to almost ‘hold a mirror up’ in-front of the dozens of imitators we meet on a daily basis, hoping for them to recognise their true blandness.

”ËœHunt The Pack’ – guitars, yelling, and more guitars; vocals are delivered with raging conviction but always with melody and are inspired by the work of George Orwell (Nineteen Eighty-Four in particular). Frustration at a lack of opportunity to express oneself, with a direct message to not trust everything that you’re taught.

”ËœHello Hypocrite, Hypocrite Hello’ is rammed full of screaming punk assaults, but beneath the vitriol and aggression are well constructed songs, Rebel City Radio are essentially a punk band but unlike too many others they have not substituted talent for volume.

I saw them live at Rebellion back in 2010 and was blown away by their sheer energy; thankfully the studio sessions to record ”ËœHello Hypocrite, Hypocrite Hello’ has not dulled their sound ”“ this is one band well worth looking out for, despite their home town being Dudley!!

Track list:

No Guts – No Glory
Johnny Got Led Astray
Hide & Seek
Sign The Dotted Line
Last Goodbye
Hunt The Pack
I Am An Atom Bomb
…And The Penny Drops
Human Soundtrack

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Phil Newall is 47, from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.



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