Though it was a long time coming, Phoenix’s conquering of American radios, concert theaters, and hearts may serve as an inspiration for other French rock acts to drop the Francais and hit up the Urban Outfitters. Revolver will be way ahead of the curve, already donning the garb of the hipsters everyone loves to hates and the language of the people their country loves to hate. Even their name crosses their border, a nod to the best Beatles album (imo) and to a rock and roll tradition that requires English language and universal themes for the maximum appeal possible. Yes, Revolver, like Phoenix, doesn’t strive to be a great French band. They want to be a great rock and roll band.
Are we getting ahead of ourselves? Perhaps; after all, Phoenix took a number of quite good albums to crack the mainstream American consciousness. But music fans are listening more globally then ever, and Revolver’s lush harmonies and sensual themes are the kind of touchstones that are not just easy to like, they are difficult to ignore. The true test will come on August 24th, when Astralwerks releases their debut album Music For A While in America. Though already gold in their home country, this will mark the beginning of career stateside and could be the kind of debut that spawns international attention.
Revolver cites influences as diverse as The Beach Boys, Simon and Garfunkel, and The Kinks, but they don’t just mine the classic rock catalog for inspiration. They also are influenced by composers like Henry Purcell, Benjamin Britten, and John Dowland, of whom this writer admits ignorance, while remaining impressed that this band can represent classic composers while still creating music that fits the relevance of today as well as anyone’s. And even if it takes them a decade to break through, at least we know the sky is the limit.
Check out the single “Get Around Town” and see if you are ready to fall in love: