Two years ago, Rebelution tackled the heady subjects of love vs. money and the consequences of greed and power as it also grooved and moved to the positive effects of roots reggae music. This year, the Santa Barbara band is riding high as it surfs the new wave of reggae with the release of “Falling Into Place.”
Peaceful. Mellow. Laid back. Thoughtful. Lyrics with a message. Retrospective. Introspective. Perfect for watching the sun set and tide roll in while sipping rum punch and having a puff or two. A bedtime reggae lullaby at times. Some things to ponder at other times.
Rebelution captured all that in “Falling Into Place,” its highly anticipated fifth studio album (released June 3, 2016).
Musicians Eric Rachmany (guitar and lead vocals), Rory Carey (keyboard), Marley D. Williams (bass) and Wesley Finley (drums) met while students at the UC Santa Barbara. Entering a second decade as performers, their music continues to mature.
While many reggae bands can spend an entire set extolling the virtues of marijuana, Rebelution devotes only one song (“Inhale Exhale”) on the 11-track album to the herbal intent. That’s a chronic-cool thing — the focus is on more cerebral concerns such as positivity, relationships and how sticking to goals can improve souls (“Lay My Claim”).
“Know It All” deals with that guy we all know, because he’s got all the answers and his negativity drags others down. Rebelution suggests he change his tune, open his mind. It also delves into that theme in “Free Up Your Mind.”
Mr. Know It All tell me why/ You always hide behind a wall/ In hindsight it’s always someone else’s fault/ Talking real big, man, but we know you’re small/ … Despite your negativity we’ll have a ball/ Positivity will trump them all/ Nothing good to say, don’t say it at all…
Several songs put the spotlight on relationships, including “Pretty Lady” and “Santa Barbara.” That’s a touchy topic the band also broached in its 2014 album, “Count Me In,” with the song “Counterfeit Love.” The hook in the new “Upper Hand” makes you smile about it all.
… I can’t stand that you’ve got the upper hand/ But I like the way you use it/ And I don’t wanna lose ya/ I just hate the way you pull my strings/ But I love the way you use me/ And oh it’s so confusing…
With Rebelution’s tight musicianship and thought-provoking lyrics, it’s all “Falling Into Place.” Give it a spin. The band opens its summer tour Friday at a sold-out show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado, supported by The Green, J Boog, Stick Figure, Through the Roots and DJ Mackle. In September, it will headline the Dry Diggings Festival in Placerville.
“Falling Into Place”
Release: June 3, 2016
Notable tracks: “Know It All,” “Upper Hand,” “Lay My Claim”
Label: 87 Music/ Easy Star Records