The music of Revere aspires to big things. This is very evident on the bands debut album - Hey! Selim.
Hey! Selim is like a warship, bedecked with elements of post-rock, gypsy folk and epic ballsy stadium crescendo. Its songs are string drenched soundscapes that cast themselves away from the shores of radio friendly obviousness, preferring to sail in darker waters of drama. Recorded in a remote barn out on the Scottish Highlands as well as at Pinewood Studios, one of its telling production credits is Anthony Theaker on mixing duties. Theaker, a former member of mid 90’s Chichester band Hope of the States makes much sense, Revere having a similar sense of ambition to their music as did Theaker’s now defunct group.
Starting with the instrumental gypsy folk of Forgotten Names, Hey! Selim soon finds its feet with two of the most obviously commercial tracks on the album. The doomy drums, mournful violin and Thom Yorke styled vocals of As The Radars Sleep may not sound particularly uplifting at the start, but as trumpets and strings head skywards it becomes a blissful triumph. Next song We Won’t Be Here Tomorrow is a thundering tub-thumping rock work-out, resplendent with brass and driving piano and a repeated chant of “We must keep breathing through the fire inside.” For (the minority of) disgruntled Arcade Fire fans who disagree with most of the critics and find The Suburbs a little dreary, middle of the road, pedestrian, over long and underwhelming, We Won’t Be Here Tomorrow will put a smile back on your face.
Not everything is as call to arms bombastic as We Won't Be Here Tomorrow however. The Escape Artist has a distinctly melancholic feel to it, ending with swirling melodic strings and beautiful noise last created by Japanese sonic-masters Mono, albeit more leashed-up than Mono’s epic work. Likewise the seven minute opus that is I Bet You Want Blood has Indian mysticism, military drumming and funeral-like trumpets to create moments of downbeat complexity before the song explodes in a seething mass of instrumentation at the end.
Besides the references of Hope of the States, Radiohead and Mono, Hey! Selim prompts memories of the first two Arcade Fire albums, Mogwai, Sigur Ros, Broken Records and The Dawn Chorus - bands that deal with musical landscapes that rise like mountains and fall like valleys.
It’s good company to be in.