Review by Jessi Roti – @JessiTaylorRO
Artist: Black Market Rebellion
Album: Act Two: The Blasphemy Tapes
Rock and roll, like many genres, is multi-faceted. When all of those facets work together, there’s truly nothing better. Your heart pounds and your pulse races to the tempo set by the drums, while your head bangs along to dueling guitars and a subtle bass groove.
These familiar feelings flood back while listening to Black Market Rebellion’s 2014 release, Act Two: The Blasphemy Tapes. As the title suggests, rock and roll thematics follow suit across 10 tracks. The opening track, “The Unexamined Life” is a solid introduction. Like the revving of an engine, the band definitely hones in on a power-chord heavy, adrenaline rush.
Every piece of Black Market Rebellion fits. Bryan Kelly’s lead vocals are what you’d want, or expect, from a rock singer. Heavy, but not all that intimidating, while hushed with a hint of sensuality when the track calls for it. “2 More 4 Mischief” exemplifies the line that’s been drawn in the sands of rock music, the line between being authentic enough for the harshest critic, while engaging in just enough sexuality to be interested in by the mainstream.
“Louisiana Roots” really showcases the talent this group of four possesses. The crescendo of the guitar flows seamlessly, while drummer A.J. Jackson knows when to drum full-force and when to pull back and utilize the hi-hat. At its simplest, Black Market Rebellion produces enjoyable rock and roll with classic, metal influence.
But while it’s enjoyable, it is almost too familiar. References to Foo Fighters and Finnish-“love metal” act H.I.M. are pretty blatant. Slightly more pop-tinged tracks like “Marie” are reminiscent of something Poison would have released at the height of ‘80s hair-metal. This, again, is enjoyable, but nothing new. Black Market Rebellion has monster potential, but at the end of the record, they’re still a moderately young band looking to establish their own identity amongst a scene that’s as saturated as ever.
I say, leave the pop tracks behind and go for the jugular. With a band that has four, ridiculously strong talents, don’t water-down your sound to the likes of Bret Michaels. Go for Ozzy.