on 8 November 2003
The world appears to have had the world 'rock' stamped on it again. Well as close to rock as we can get...not so long ago, in the official top 10, we had Radiohead, Metallica, Evanescence among others bothering the airwaves, and although I know that at least one of those acts are only up their because of huge publicity and hype, it's still a promising sign. At least Evanescence might just introduce a few people to Lacuna Coil and the like, but as usual the UK has missed to point completely. Metallica were only in there because...it's Metallica...Radiohead were only in there because...it's Radiohead. Evanescence, as unkeen as I am personally, were in there because they earned it with a monster hit that hit the spot. I don't see why others should fall by the wayside, and I am absolutely dumbfounded at just why there hasn't been an official UK release for these tuneful hard-rockers, Revis. Fired up from the same place as Evanescence themselves, on the soundtrack to Daredevil, their song 'Caught In The Rain' should have captured as many people as Evanescence did. Although it's easy to see just how Revis could be classed as just another alt-metal band, as it turns out you might be quite surprised at the diversity of 'Places For Breathing' their debut album, which without a doubt is up there with my albums of the year.
Of course this includes the huge single, 'Caught In The Rain' to open, which you might believe, for those who have actually heard the song, that, that might not actually be a good thing, despite the songs huge, meaty riffs, superb chant along choruses and verses, because the first track always has to lead the way, and a song like 'Caught In The Rain' to the masses who pray on the likes of Creed and Nickelback (ew), this is a huge song. But in actual fact it is backed up at least 6 hard rockers of the very same quality with stunning hard riff work, emotional lyrics and vocals. It could be quite hard to call the vocals emotional as the guy has a pretty 'gruff' voice, but it's also a fine voice and he knows how to hit all the notes successfully and at the right time, particularly on the likes of the chorus on the soaring, 'You Wall', and a finer example would be 'Spin' and the power packed, 'City Beneath'.
Revis can do powerful, catchy and beautiful too, particularly on the superb, 'Seven', which sounds genuinely expressed, as the feel does throughout 'Places For Breathing', which is something that a lot of bands of Revis's genre tend to lack, which therefore makes Revis one of the top acts in its field. 'Living Rooms' is similarly low key and stunning, carefully placed a couple of songs away from each other to make sure that, while the quality is always high, just in case one of their gentle listeners isn't satisfied by the song in between, 'Straight Jacket Labels' (which is one of the album highlights in actual fact), they'll be stunned again.
While ironically, the title track may be the weaker of them all, it is in no way a bad song. Far from it. It's followed up by the six minute 'Look Right Through Me', which is a great way to end the album as it seems like two songs split up and holds every emotion the album had previously expressed in 6 minutes.
Revis will never be critic’s darlings, I'll be blunt in that respect, and they'll never break barriers, except for one. It's sad that this barrier is even up, but they've officially broken the 'consecutively-good-and-consistently-great-rock-album', barrier/award. In that respect this is certainly my album of the year, and while I am very keen on a little bit of experimentalism and a bit of progression in music, I love terrific hard rock records and Revis have produced the best of the year. Emotionally, hard hitting and brilliantly produced with memorable songs and melodies, it's all we need when we really think about it. I don't know about 'Caught In The Rain', but this one has certainly been well made and strongly written.
Hard rock album of the year.