Without reading any liner notes, you’d be hard-pressed to realize that the Revelers are from Cleveland. With faux ‘80s Britpop accents and explosive R&B reminiscent of the Who, the Revelers ignore their American roots and meld a fantastic sound from 30 years of British pop.
From the album cover to the production, the Revelers try to convince you they’re a mod band, but the touches of early Billy Bragg and Morrissey are impossible to ignore. While the melodies of “Detroit Bridge” are lifted right out of the Who’s “I Can’t Explain,” “Time & Place” and “Left the Light On” have the Moz’s influence plastered all over them. And “5 Will Get You” would fit perfectly between any two tracks on Workers Playtime.
The ‘80s touch is a good thing, as it keeps the Revelers’ R&B from falling into the category of Who or Kinks knock-off. Instead, the band turns Day In, Day Out into a 30-year rock history lesson that’s as entertaining as any UK-based Where Are They Now? on VH1.
The songwriting is first-rate, from the poignant ballad “Last Mistake” to the Cure-sounding closer “All Day the Sun,” where the vocals are eerily similar to the voice of Robert Smith but decidedly happier (“A lovesick fool always gets well”). There’s nary a bad song on the album, and the band injects enough of its own personality into every track that, while outside influences are strong, you’re listening to a sound that the Revelers can proudly declare their own.
Summing things up, with Day In, Day Out, the Revelers have crafted a near-perfect album of R&B and pop. Without a doubt, Cleveland Rocks, it just has to send its best band’s ears across the Atlantic to do it.
// Notes from the Road
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