Rebelmatic, 'Mourning Dove' (2022)

If you haven’t caught wind of NYC’s Rebelmatic, you haven’t been paying attention.

After dropping the 2020 stunner LP, Ghost in the Shadows, via Red Right Recordings, the band instantly pivoted the moment shit shut down en masse.

Adamantly disallowing their forward momentum be slowed, the band resorted to a relentless string of pop-up outdoor shows, gifting borough residents a life preserver in the pandemic’s more nascent moments. 

On the back of that unqualified success, Rebelmatic has returned with Mourning Dove, a four-track EP that doubles down on what makes their locked in firepower so stunning and immediate. “Walk on Water” performs familiar miracles and the dedicated listener will find themselves swimming in familiar waters.

Ushered in on a melodic group chant, it’s a rousing reminder of the band’s innate sense of camaraderie. Calling to mind the punk based posi rumble of Wisdom In Chains, it quickly segues into a punk rager. Atop the blazing tempo sits the ever acrobatic vocalist Creature, whose fiery command is a mix of inventive cadence and studied influence. As good a place as any for newcomers to their sound, it’s a stout opener that tips its hat to New York hardcore, classic punk, and rock’s gloriously muddied DNA. 

Ever shifting, the following track “Said What I Said” flexes the band’s formidable funk muscles. Deftly maneuvering from a boomerang wah riff to the hard-charging and stompy groove of its chorus, Rebelmatic’s genre-hopping comes across as organic and seamless. If anything has come from collective shutdown, it sounds like the already formidable band has been steady playin’ straight on ‘til morning. 

Photo: Tim Daley

Elsewhere, “Tomorrow Right Now” follows suit. The aforementioned 2020 long player was essentially a tour through every damn sound they wanted, but this collection somehow goes a step further. It jumps off with drops a sidewinding riff that sounds as steeped in Delta blues as it does Every Time I Die, not to mention their most inventive and melodious group vocals thus far. Looking for an absolutely ripping solo? Just peep the two-minute mark to find top notch emotive wailing from their resident axe man. 

Converts will likely already know Rebelmatic has garnered praise from some absolute titans like H.R. and David Byrne and for the closer “Sun Goes Down," they’ve bolstered their attack with Fishbone’s Angelo Moore, Dr. Madd Vibe himself!

In perhaps their most accomplished composition to date, the bass playing here is as tasteful as it is nimble. Again, the guitar dazzles, managing to move from squealing a la Eddie Hazel’s work on Maggot Brain to early USHC. Creature’s dexterous wordplay works well next to the prolific and incendiary leader of LA’s legendary fusionists. 

If ever there was a band made for diverse stages, it’s Rebelmatic. There’s nary an excuse to miss them on their upcoming two month run with Weedeater. 

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