Monday, March 5, 2018

Rejectionist Front - Evolve (2017)

Written by Pamela Bellmore, posted by blog admin

New York City based four piece Rejectionist Front’s second studio album Evolve avoids any of the wavering we sometimes hear from an act’s sophomore release and, instead, refines their songwriting template and consolidates their position as one of the rising indie rock outfits working today. Fronted by singer/songwriter Michael Perlman with Lincoln Prout single handedly taking care of the band’s guitar duties, the album’s twelve songs show off Rejectionist Front’s influences without ever sounding like slavish imitation. There are some obviously commercial rock songs included on Evolve, but there are some more artful and idiosyncratic tunes included on Evolve that often veer past hard rock and into top shelf prog metal reminiscent of a harder edged Pearl Jam or Queensryche with a crucial difference coming with how Rejectionist Front only boasts a single guitarist rather than two. Produced by World2Be Entertainment, Rejectionist Front’s second release has a powerhouse presentation guaranteed to capture the attention of both casual and hardcore fans.

There’s definitely an exultant quality to some of Rejectionist Front’s music that, thankfully, eschews any heavy handedness or over-simplifications. This quality comes across at a few key points during Evolve and one of the most notable is the album’s opener “Ride”. It’s also a powerful illustration of the rare vocal strengths they bring to a style and genre not ordinarily known for acts with a top shelf vocal presentation. They pursue their Muse down a more solidly traditional hard rock avenue with the second track “All I Am” and Perlman shows off, for the first time, the capacity for adapting his voice to a song’s demands. “Savior” continues in that traditional hard rock vein with a particularly punchy chorus and more of the outsized guitar muscle that defines the album’s songwriting as a whole.

Rejectionist Front tempers the brash, even bellicose, spirit of their music for the song “All is the Same” but this more even-handed, restrained approach still bears signatures of their style and fits in rather well with the surrounding material. “Reclaim” revisits the anthemic potential of the album’s first song and, like “Ride”, refrains from pandering to listener’s conventions about such material. “Flush” is a single from the album and it’s shortest track on a release where running times are largely uniform with only a few notable exceptions. The sleek, lean musical attack makes all the right choices if the song’s intent is immediacy and engaging the audience and Perlman delivers one of the best vocals you’ll hear on Evolve. The atmosphere of melancholic sensitivity pervading “Hold Or Break” contrasts dramatically with the song’s heavier passages and the varying tempo of the song nevertheless maintains the needed seamlessness for a coherent performance. Evolve’s closing number “Inside of Me” is another more thoughtful and orchestrated cut relying just as much on affecting vocal harmonies as it does compelling guitar theatrics. The meditative spirit of the release provides a valuable counterpoint to its boisterous, assertive sound and helps make it an even better, more entertaining listen. Rejectionist Front are quite unlike many rock bands working today and our music world is better for it.