The Rebel Noise just released new album I Hear You via Soundcloud, offering fans higher-quality versions of the songs the band has been playing for local audiences since the group moved to Palm Springs from Paso Robles in 2011.
It’s hard to believe that frontman Leo Rodriquez has only been playing guitar for about three years. His ability to front a band seems to have come naturally to him, a fact proven by the quality of I Hear You.
The album starts off in the same way as many of The Rebel Noise’s shows: “Possessed” begins with feedback, guitar buildup and then Rodriquez screaming—before he soulfully hums and sings about the one who possess his soul. Then, of course, he returns to full-blown screaming. The band had a recording of this track posted on the Soundcloud page before, but this newer version definitely sounds tighter and more intense.
A highlight of many Rebel Noise live sets, “No Love” follows “Possessed.” The muffled vocals and intense blues-guitar by Rodriquez and Collin Pintor could give the White Stripes and the Black Keys a run for their money. On “She’s Got First,” the rhythm section of Ashley Pintor on drums and Ben Travis on bass makes the song stand out with delightfully heavy riffs.
The Rebel Noise does not hold back in its songwriting—yet the band is not afraid to slow things down while keeping the unique rhythms and hard-rocking guitar riffs going; “Human Like Me” and “Sixes” are prime examples of this. However, if you’re expecting ballads, there are none. That’s just fine.
If you’ve ever caught Rebel Noise shows, you know “1988” is often the band’s go-to closing number—and appropriately, it’s the song that concludes I Hear You. The song begins with Rodriquez singing, “I was young yesterday, playing games and staying awake, it was 1988, the year I came awake.” The song seems quite personal: Rodriquez was born in 1988, and the lyrics touch upon his childhood memories and the people in his life. While the song is sentimental, it ventures into heavy territory when Rodriquez belts out lyrics.
I Hear You shows how far The Rebel Noise has come in just three years. The group was close to winning the battle of the bands at the Date Festival, and made it to the final round of a battle of the bands in Corona at the M15 Concert Bar and Grill. The band is now embarking on a tour of California, playing venues such as the Slide Bar in Fullerton and the Escondite in Los Angeles.
Scroll down to hear I Hear You.