Written by: Jen Dan
San Francisco-based psychedelic alternative rock collective Revolushn are as hybridized as its name, blending psych-rock, pop, blues, and a trippy attitude to its colorful numbers on recent wild, but compelling album Further!!.
It’s been a long and convoluted process to get the final line-up of the band together and to finish up Further!!, but it is now out in the world, footloose and fancy-free, and many a time, just plain instrumentally and/or vocally weird, but in a tasty way.
Originally a studio band that was started by NO (guitar) and Dekay (drums), the act put out an album titled The Freshman that achieved moderate success. The band then went through many personnel changes before settling on Schubert Ola (keyboards, vocals), Guinevere Q – No Big Fucking Deal (bass, vocals) and Young Sun (guitar, vocals).
Over the course of 2016 and most of this year, Further!! was written (by NO and David Kendrick (Devo, Sparks)) and recorded, coming out in mid-June with the highly praised “Dinosaurs” as the lead single. Revolushn has gigged throughout California and is gearing up for a US tour.
When asked about Revolushn’s message, NO declared that it was to, “…Be free. We want to say you can do anything you want because the universe is larger than shit. We sing about space and life in this fluid world. You never know what will happen so be happy and nice to other humans and animals.”
That inclusive and expansive vibe runs through all the tracks on Further!!, even when the band dynamically rocks out. Unlike the lumbering implications of its title, lead single and album opener “Dinosaur” is fleet on its feet, strutting to a disco groove while zig-zagged with electric guitar jags, tribal drum thump, and banjo-like plucked strings. Sharply tangy vocals wind around the sonic mélange as the singer exclaims, “It’s a… cruel world / You’d best beware / because the world is ruled by dinosaurs…” Hmmm, that could be commentary on the political situation in many countries, including the tyrannical leadership in the United States these days…
Progressive folk/hard rock number “The River” adds rhythmic world drumming to its more traditional sound, as well as peeps of peppy synths. The singer sounds slightly like Axl Rose, singing in a sharp and gritty tone while aching for the river to, “take me home”.
“Wierd Little Minds” [SoundCloud spelling of song title] is just that, punctuated with megaphone-like vocals, a running bass line, jumpy percussion, and a punchy drum beat. Taking a cue from the current news cycle of our divisive times, the singer drawls out, “…so we take a stand / and so we build a wall…” and then asks, “…will we survive?” Probably not, when you believe that isolationism is the answer to national problems…
Perfectly matched to the album’s cover art, “Dog Gets High” is one strange, way-out sonic trip, at least for its starting minute which sounds like the vocalist is trapped in a time tunnel with his echoed vocals bouncing off the walls. He repeatedly wonders in a spacey pitch if, “I’m waggin’ the tail / or is the tail waggin’ me?” before the more familiar guitar and drums kick in, along with cool blasts of horns.
The title track merges crunchy ‘70s electric guitar rock with a bit of ‘80s New Wave buzzing synths while the lead singer reveals that, “Sometimes you learn / Sometimes you crash and burn.” He’s joined by a female vocalist who is “…seekin’ the sound of a beacon beyond.” No need to look that hard because Revolushn’s music is pretty much that far-out sonic beacon!
Find out more about Revolushn: