River City Rebels – Racism, Religion and War

River City Rebels
Racism, Religion and War

This amazing recording could easily reaffirm belief in the youth of today. Influences are all over the map…the River City Rebels’ sound recalls punk, ska, oi and hardcore simultaneously – fusing it all into a steamroller cavalcade of flag-burning, blaring punk. Out of this unholy miscegenation of styles emerges one of the most engaging punk records I’ve heard in a while. This young band (literally young – the oldest member is just 21) cranks out song after song of well-crafted, horn basted hardcore.
Lyrically, the Rebels take their sociopolitical cues right from the oi and straight-edge songbooks, citing influences from Crass to Minor Threat and The Clash. They’ve learned their lessons well, for the lyrics go straight for the jugular, raging against religion, corporate America and the military. Each of those topics gets a well-deserved kick in the arse courtesy the Rebels.
But in spite of all the spittle-and-blood tinged stridency of the lyrics, they actually manage to make it sound like they’re having a blast tearing down the system. For instance the horn section adds precisely timed doses of infectious swing that prod the already galloping affair along at a nice clip.
Bristling with energy, Racism, Religion and War basically sounds great. The production is top-notch – the sound is rich, and these boys know how to handle their instruments well at breakneck speeds. If this album is any indication, the River City Rebel’s have a rosy future ahead of them. On Racism, Religion and War they successfully update straight-edge punk – melting down elements as diverse as oi and ska into a giant, swirling celebration of freedom and youthful energy. Grab a partner and join the mosh pit!