Rebel Spies – Rise!

Underground Communiqué Records – Release Date: 9/29/17

Detroit’s Rebel Spies recently released their debut full-length on Underground Communiqué, called Rise! Featuring members of The Suicide Machines, Hellmouth and Telegraph, Rebel Spies’ sound isn’t especially reminiscent of those bands, but rather suggestive of old school punk like 7 Seconds and Dag Nasty. What’s unique is how they manage to capture the spirit of the genre’s forefathers, while remaining unpredictable and infusing contemporary influences to create something particularly distinct. Album opener “That Mask” is a rousing call to arms with a stirring chorus that quickly sets the tone for the rest of the record. It’s followed by “Sorry About the Mess,” a concise burst of energy that rallies against complacency and evokes memories of melodic hardcore greats Avail. “We Must Be Cautious” changes things up with an expansive chorus and a blazing guitar solo, while “Domain of Evil” is reminiscent of The Clash, complete with an offbeat rhythm and call and response vocals. “What Have I Done” is influenced by East Coast hardcore and encourages making a change for the better, and the album’s final track, “Not Dead Not Yet,” arguably saves the best for last. It begins with a catchy guitar lead that segues to ska-influenced upstrokes, paving the way for a soaring chorus that delivers a resilient message and reinforces the importance of not giving up. With Rise!, Rebel Spies have made a record that draws from the past as much as it incorporates modern styles. It’s well-written, skillfully performed and filled with promise.