To sum up The Dead Revolt’s musical approach, imagine the guitar prowess of The Fall of Troy’s Thomas Erik and the creativity of Closure in Moscow, wrapped in a dark, ethereal experience analogous to Coheed and Cambria or Circa Survive. The easiest comparison is San Diego’s Children of Nova, but with much more invention.
It would behoove any of the above acts to take this Houston trio out on tour, especially considering they have just released one of the strongest debuts the progress post-hardcore scene has heard in a while. From its atmospheric prologue to its epic, cathartic closer, The Dead Revolt’s Psychedelic Wasteland is a tour de force listeners will welcome with open arms.
The band, overall, exhibits remarkable maturity—minus the silly song titles—in its musical scope. Psychedelic Wasteland is rather straightforward with its intentions. Brothers, Spencer and Dylan Golvach handle the rhythm section with tight bass and drum work respectively, but it is guitarist and vocalist George Baba who clearly steals the show with his surprisingly large vocal range, gripping lyrics, and helter-skelter guitar play.
Baba approaches the microphone with refinement and composure—a remarkable feat considering the album’s less-than-stellar production. The fourth track, “Psychedelisaurus,” satisfies as a summation of the album with its homage to Doppelgänger-era guitar soloing, a sexy falsetto in the pre-chorus, and a wonderfully catchy chorus mixed in.
And what would a review of a progressive post-hardcore album be without mentioning The Mars Volta? Sure, TMV set the bar high over a decade ago, and singer George Baba does fall into the Cedric Bixler-Zavala vocal pigeonhole quite easily, but critics shouldn’t write off Psychedelic Wasteland as yet another imitation of De-Loused in The Comatorium. The genre is far from stale, and The Dead Revolt are proving it with their fertile guitar accompaniments, impromptu tempo shifts, and refreshing song structures.
Perhaps the most welcomed aspect of Psychedelic Wasteland is the very thing it lacks: lengthy ambient (filler, boring, unnecessary, etc.) passages. And even without the studio wizardry, The Dead Revolt has still crafted a concept album with the complexity to warrant many listens, proving that pretension doesn’t necessarily mean innovation, and also that Texas might be home to the scene’s next big thing.
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