Revere – Hey! Selim

Revere are a multi instrumental post-rock influenced band that are making huge waves at the moment, and could well be the breakthrough band of 2010/11 if they play their cards right. Already championed in the national press and winners of the BBC 6 Music Rebel Playlist, Revere release debut album Hey! Selim through Albino Recordings on September 6th. I’ve been lucky enough to have been given a sneak preview and I can confirm that it is as good, if not better than expected.

Following on in a similar vein from previously released standout tracks We Won’t Be Here Tomorrow and The Escape Artist (both of which are included on the album), Hey! Selim is at times a fine example of ‘epic rock’, the kind of symphonic big-sound masterpiece often associated with bands like Radiohead, Elbow and Arcade Fire (sorry, the comparison is obvious, I know, but appropriate), as well as the lesser-known The Early Years and Manchester’s own Air Cav.

Opening track Forgotten Names sets a theme for the album. A marvellous sweeping and emotionally stirring balance of crying strings and perfectly harmonic horns and accordion, while only lasting shy over 2 minutes seems to plunge the listener into another world – a world of fairytale, marching bands and knights in armour (a theme reinforced by the choice of album artwork). Immidiately after the track finishes, a crashing percussion section smashes through, followed by a post-punk influenced minimal guitar line and the first introduction to singer Stephen Ellis’ vocals. This is As the Radars Sleep, a much darker rock song, which still manages to maintain a fluidic edge from the strings and bells that accompany it.

Moving on, the standout of the album for me probably has to be The Hating Book. A song that begins with a radio recorded vocal sample, leading into a beautifully played cello, a cold, sparse and emotionally draining line that reminds me of the Icelandic neo-classicalists Sigur Rós and Ólafur Arnalds. This is a song that might not immediately come to mind as the most memorable of the album (which is probably single The Escape Artist) but what I love about this song is that it symbolises the very essence of what Revere are all about. It is full of feeling, it is symphonic, traditional European folk influenced and yet somehow still manages to sound contemporary.

Hey! Selim is a beautiful album full of intricacies that will take numerous listens to fully appreciate. I thoroughly recommend doing so.

9/10

Hey! Selim is released on September 6th on Albino Recordings. Revere play Standon Calling festival this weekend (August 7th).

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