Rhythm x Revival – self titled
9 songs/37 min
Rhythm x Revival’s self titled debut record is a short blast of Chicago Blues and Soul. The Australian band is centered around guitarist and singer John-Luke Shelley and drummer Johnny Tesoriero who co-wrote and co-produced the album together. The band is filled out by Ben Wicks on bass, Jeremy Neumann on keys and Sam Teskey on tambourine on one track. The music here is sprite and lively with deference and demonstrated deep understanding of Blues and roots music.
Shelley is a talented tasteful guitarist. He plays a telecaster which has that twangy country sound, but he conjures up strong Blues tones out of his rig, see minor key real deal blues “The Beast.” The music also boogies, grooves and croons. “So Darn Mean” is an infectious locked in shuffle about a woman so ornery her beauty is almost overshadowed. “Hell Of A Ride” is a blissed out emotional travelogue. Album closer “Have You Ever Been So Lonely” is a self explanatory slow soul ballad in which Shelley gets to shows off his soul-man pipes.
Second track “Good Man Feeling Bad” has the stringy hollow sound of Buddy Guy’s A Man and the Blues. This is a simple song about simply feeling terrible, plan spoken and well written. Jeremy Neumann’s warm full-figured keyboard sounds are featured prominently. His solo has a savage Otis Spann style attack. The song takes a key change, a classic device, and Shelley solos the song out with passion and depth.
What appears to be the lead single, “Almost Every Night” is a shuffling Chicago-tough romp in which drummer Tesoriero gets to show off his hard grooving chops. Another clever write, this song deals with those complex emotions of love and lust in a straightforward highly effective way. More love for Neumann here showing of his burbling organ sound and John-Luke rips out a hard Blues-Rock lead.
Rhythm x Revival is a thoughtful and creative Blues band. They write clever originals that sound familiar but fresh. The musicality of the performances, arrangements and production shows a deep level of professionalism and talent.
This is straightforward fully realized Blues music and the record is a great listen straight through. This is a band to watch, here’s hoping they make their way to an international audience.