Unchained Music Blog

Unchained Music Blog

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Rejectionist Front - Evolve (2017)

Written by Alonzo Evans, posted by blog admin

Rejectionist Front are chasing their rock dream down one of the few avenues where roaring hard rock guitar still seems to have some popularity – lodging, musically, some form of protest about injustice in the modern world. The twelve songs on Rejectionist Front’s second release Evolve aren’t overtly political, but there are definitely humanist in the sense that they loudly and proudly campaign for the rights of an individual in a world seeking to strip us of that individuality. The fact that performers and writers with the iconic status of David Crosby, Patti Smith, Joan Baez, and George Clinton have chosen to associate themselves with this act is an indication of the growing respect they command thanks to their commitment and talent. Their second album Evolve picks up the first album’s mantle and carries it even further than before while still maintaining fidelity to the band’s gripping base sound.

“Ride” is representative of a side to the band’s musical character, but never all encompassing. Michael Perlman’s vocal will definitely garner your attention, but the band’s full performance is very formidable, particularly from guitarist Lincoln Prout. Songs like this are comparatively rare; there’s a definite storm the ramparts, call to arms quality surrounding the first song and later track “Reclaim” and album single “Flush”. The bulk of the album’s material, however, can be a little more neatly divided between chorus-focused and hard charging rock songs like “All I Am”, “Savior”, “Sign”, and “Innocent” compared to more nuanced, layered efforts like “All Is The Same”, “Hold Or Break”, “One Life”, and the album closer “Inside of Me”. The straight forward rock on Evolve is always underpinned by intelligent lyrical content and a multi-faceted vocal approach that never fails the audience or band. The rhythm section of drummer Dave Dawson and bass player Tony Tino demonstrates unexpected but entertaining flair on those rock tracks and Prout’s varied guitar attack keep things fiery throughout. Perlman works in a lot of nuance into his full throated rock bray and the backing vocals from Prout and Tino come in at crucial moments.

The more thoughtful moments on Evolve are largely driven by Lincoln Prout’s guitar work that, instead of bulldozing listeners like he does on the predominantly rock material, achieves its effects through accumulation and manifests a variety of voices. “All Is The Same”, “One Life”, and “Inside of Me” are especially notable – the atmospherics invoked by three instrumentalists are quite impressive, particularly on the first and last of those tunes. “One Life” conjures some of the anthemic qualities we hear in the first track, “Reclaim”, and “Flush”, but the lyrics are rife with a level of imagery we don’t hear from that trio of tunes. Rejectionist Front’s Evolve is a wicked smart and musically astute journey with the track listing finessed in just the right way.