With members of Low and No Wait Wait making up Retribution Gospel Choir, it would be expected that the band might inhabit the quieter territory of rock. Of course, this isn’t the case with RGC, a collective that clings to classic rock structures and loud, blazing guitars at its very core. Those familiar with the band know their previous albums as ideal, psychedelic summer festival fodder,with a live show that is often heavy on pealing guitar solos. This time around, their The Revolution EP takes a minor turn toward polished studio power pop.
The last we heard from RGC (all the way back in 2010), they’d just released their appropriately titled sophomore LP, 2. This new set is louder and shinier than its predecessor: Drums, chords, and hooks dominate the four songs, causing the final track’s last notes to seem alien as the song descends into complete silence.
The EP offers a nonstop trip through amp tubes, the band taking full advantage of their anthemic rock boundaries. (However, there is something to be desired in the sludgier approaches of RGC’s previous work; this new slant is almost too poppy.) “Feel It, Superior” opens the EP with a short but soaring harmonic cut, giving way to “The Stone (Revolution!)”. Their sound is still very “in your eardrums,” but it focuses more on melodies backed by an onslaught of drums and guitar. The final two tracks momentarily dip into darker territory, the underlying rhythm of “Maharisha” grounding the track in the EP’s catchy style. Closer “I’m a Man” is a mess of driving drums and guitar snarls, capping off the EP in a decent deluge of noise—a much needed change from the subdued material RGC provides here.
Likely an indication of a new direction they’ll explore, The Revolution EP should tickle the fancies of power pop aficionados, while also supplying a few remnants of Retribution Gospel Choir’s shredding chops. Still, it’s a different band than we last heard two years ago.
Essential Tracks: “The Stone (Revolution)!” and “I’m a Man”