Monday, March 5, 2018

Rejectionist Front - Evolve (2017)

Written by Laura Dodero, posted by blog admin

Rejectionist Front’s continuing ascent to the upper echelon of modern rock acts picks up speed with their second album release Evolve. The four piece hasn’t been together for very long in comparison to where they are in their development and the exponential growth of their power and potential is a phenomenon they’ve successfully parlayed into plum festival appearances as well as important placements on high profile various artist releases as well as theatrical and television programming. They are politically engaged, particularly lead singer and songwriter Michael Perlman, but never in the quasi-evangelical way many music listeners find repelling. The band’s songs are, in one overriding one, about the challenges of being a human in an often inhumane world and their second album Evolve features a dozen songs further establishing them as one of the best hard rock acts achieving prominence today.

“Ride” kicks off this full length album with resounding emotional and sonic force. Michael Perlman is a singer who gives himself over to every track and manifests his talents differently each time out. Guitarist Lincoln Prout and bassist Tony Tino provide spot on backing vocals for this near anthemic number that makes it doubly effective. “All I Am” dispenses with the quasi high flown style they flirt with on the opener and instead take things in a more rough and ready, straight hard rock direction while losing none of their apparent chops and crisp attack. The sonic architecture of the album’s third song “Savior” is much the same as the second, but the construction is even tighter here and the chorus, in particular, is carried off exceptionally well.

Perlman’s ability to bring a distinct character to each of Evolve’s twelve songs continues to shine through on the track “All is the Same” and it previews a pensive side to the band’s songwriting that they explore in later songs as well. Perlman is, undoubtedly, the straw stirring the band’s drink in many respects, thanks to his aforementioned qualities and the way he handles the lyrical content, but guitarist Lincoln Prout demonstrates a similar chameleon-like talent for adapting his guitar sound as needed. The contrast of Perlman’s near bluesy growl and accompanying guitar jangle opening the song “Reclaim” soon transforms into one of the band’s more rousing numbers and a definite highlight of the release. There’s a more menacing quality conveyed by the song “Innocent” and the claustrophobic bite heard in some of Lincoln Prout’s guitar playing, likewise, ranks among the musical highlights of Evolve and their continued strength in building hard hitting choruses and instrumental breaks continues to serve them well. The finale, “Inside of Me”, is naturally one of the album’s more inward looking efforts, but Rejectionist Front’s songwriting is such that even the personal finds an universal resonance – as it should. This New York City four piece has passion to burn, but Evolve makes it abundantly clear they are a band of the world as well.

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