Long Island-based hard rockers REVEL 9 have developed a signature sound over the years; one that features pensive – sometimes brooding – lyrics with heavy instrumentals. That sound has evolved a step further on the band’s latest release, “The Reality Crush.”
Frontman DJ Pearlman has made strides as a vocalist from 2011’s “The Razorblade Diaries.” Pearlman’s ability to convey emotion – you can sense his anguish right away on a track like “Senseless Tragedy” – brings the listener in to hang on his every word he sings. Pearlman combines thoughtful lyrics, good vocal range and pointed delivery, making him a force to be reckoned with on “The Reality Crush.”
Musically, it is apparent that the band challenged itself on “The Reality Crush.” Album closer “Say” features hard rock chords over jazz rhythms, making it an intriguing listen for rock fans and music theory aficionados alike. Meanwhile, “Wailo” features tricky vocal rhythms over a dark tone set by the song’s bass intro, and is among REVEL 9’s finest work so far. “Quietmind” also sees the band pushing past old boundaries by featuring Raiana from KHz, who offers a soulful female vocal element to the band’s sound.
After listening through “The Reality Crush,” it is easy to understand just why REVEL 9 has an increasing number of hard rock fans excited. Their music is equal parts catchy and aggressive, and “The Reality Crush” establishes them further as a band with the power and ability to appeal to the masses.