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ANew Revolution “Rise” (2008) October 3, 2008

Posted by rawkfistmusic in 2008, ANew Revolution.
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Written by Andrew

Nu metal act Unloco should have been on top of the world. Led by the energetic vocals of Joey Duenas, support from up-and-coming rock masters Disturbed, and a critically acclaimed album in Becoming I it seemed nothing could go wrong for the talented Texas quartet. Then album sales tanked and the band came crashing down, just as the first song of that album would have you think. Still Duenas, a music aficionado, spent a little time scouting some new bandmates, and five years later dropped the debut album of his new rockers ANew Revolution, Rise.

It seems fitting that a band with a great deal of live energy would kick an album off with a raucous audience chanting “Hey hey hey” over and over as the opening riff of “Done” surges into your player. Joey Duenas screams the opening lines “You wanna try me you might be the one who goes down,” with a passionate anger so fitting of his style. ANew Revolution quickly establishes itself as a hard rock band with the potential to create a crowd-hopping anthem, and energize with common themes of anger and aggravation. Duenas’ singing voice isn’t the focal point of “Done” but that instead belongs to powerful shredding from the guitar work of John Stockton and Duenas, with an impressive guitar solo highlighting this opener. ANew Revolution continues their revolt with the catchy “N.M.E.” which of course is pronounced “enemy.” This song sounds like a continuation of the opener but with a far more refreshing chorus and small sampling of Duenas’ impressive vocals, not just leaving him to scream the words. Worth noting at this point is the wonderful use of Frankie Salvaggio’s back-up vocals to harmonize perfectly the final words of the chorus “I can’t believe, I finally see the N.M.E.”

“Generations” is the next crowd-pleaser which begins with a plesantly toned-down riff before bringing back in the electricity of the first two songs with another catchy chorus but this time far more singing that flat out yelling, making this song a slight change of pace. Still at this point the album begins to wear out the welcome of it’s strict most-pit-only vibe, something ANew Revolution likely realized, because after “Rise” (the lyrics “Stand the fuck up and rise” tell the story here) the band teeters into a more melodious range, far more similar to some of the moments Duenas brought with Unloco. “Saddest Song” is a powerful song that Duenas begins with a low crooning, the first heard of this on this album. The full instrumentation of the song doesn’t really kick until the chorus which is still dominated by the duel vocals that create a powerful emotional tone. This is the first song to seriously show off this revolution’s potential.

“California Burning” briefly returns to the rock-as-hard-as-possible gameplan so you don’t think you accidentally swapped out discs, but falls short of the bar set by the previous songs and serves as an unmemorable experience, a bad place for a song like that only halfway through the CD. Still, ANew Revolution picks up their crap and sends the thrills back into your ears with “True Faith” which more prominently uses Salvaggio’s vocals in the verses and then uses a catchy chorus to complete a nice little package of a song. “Let Go” follows up with nothing but an acoustic guitar and Duena’s calm voice ringing out for the first minute before a slow drum beat kicks the ballad into full motion. Emotionally this is the strongest track the album has to offer, similar to “Texas” off of Becoming I. The song reaches it’s focal point with Duenas emotionally firing off “And if I let go, will you let go with me, and if I let go, you know I’ve given everything” after a brilliant guitar solo that plays off the tone of the song instead of showing off the playing skill of Stockton.

“Beautiful” is an wildly charged love/hate song with a great, mellow intro, leading up to the thrashing guitars you’ll recognize all too well at this point. The chorus proves the best point once again, serving as a tasty appetizer to set you up for “The Lonely”. This five and a half minute work starts with a relatively uneventful two minute opener which transitions smoothly into the main course of the song. You guessed it, it’s another hard-rocking anthem. ANew Revolution tries their damnedest to disguise it as something else but in the end it’s the same result, and that stands with the final track “Love To Hate” as well, although it plays comparatively different than the rest. The build-up to the chorus is well-planned and make it all the more explosive, a great way to end an album that has been almost nothing but blasting guitars the entire ride.

The Point – There ain’t a lot of meat on these bones. ANew Revolution rocks and they rock hard, with catchy riffs and vocals. Still the lyrics are generic and aside from “Saddest Song” and “Let Go” just about every song here could be confused with the one right before it. ANew Revolution sells the emotions well though, whether it be blind anger or mind-numbing heartbreak, Duenas makes it real, which puts this one a step above most other efforts of this kind.

8 out of 10

Download This – “Saddest Song”

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