Reggae-influenced jam band Rebelution released their debut album “Courage to Grow” in 2004, clearly defining their musical goal as that of spreading peace, love and general positivity all around. Not much has changed, and in 2012 these Santa Barbara boys released their fourth album, aptly titled “Peace of Mind”, in triple-album form, featuring a separate full-length acoustic album and a dub album to boot.
“Peace of Mind” peaked at #13 on The Billboard 200 Chart as well as a strong #1 on Top Reggae Albums, and rightfully so. The album opens with “Sky is the Limit,” a solid reggae piece that preaches of good vibes and love, naturally. “My hand’s still high / ’Cause in my mind I’ve achieved” singer and guitarist Eric Rachmany croons over a victorious trumpet. The remainder of the album, while still in their signature reggae style, spreads across genres such as dancehall, ska, rock, hip-hop, ballad, and even an Arabic-style song in “Life on the Line”, about being thankful for a sexy sweetheart after a bad dream. “Comfort Zone” is a get-up-and-move tune with dancehall influences about finding a place to belong, and inspires a cruise down A1A at sunset. The next track, “Good Vibes”, features a chill, deep bass line from Marley D. Williams and echoed trumpets, as well as guest vocalist Lutan Fyah.
Rebeultion’s Peace Of Mind
Opening acoustically, “Route Around” has a smooth flow and sing-along energy, gradually building emotion in the form of bass, trumpets, keyboards and drums while still retaining Rachmany’s vocal sensuality. A second collaboration on the album presents SOJA’s Jacob Hemphill in “Meant To Be”, about “life taking over” and things falling into place. Blues Traveler’s John Popper joins Rebelution on the harmonica in “Closer I Get”, a hip-hop-esque tune about taking charge and creating your own peace. In “Lady in White” the reggae band gets the closest they’ve been to a rock-heavy track with an ominous energy defined by keyboardist Rory Carey.
The solid theme of temptation and distrust is prominent in such a way that one wonders if there was a specific inspiration. Not to be forgotten, Rebelution is indeed a band comprised of dudes endorse the smoking of marijuana, and we are reminded of this in “So High”. The signature slow, dub-heavy tune features MC Zumbi of Zion I, which draws to a close in a deep, leisurely fashion. “Peace of Mind” then wakes us back up again with a fast guitar and tight drumming from Wesley Finley in “Day By Day”. “I’m strugglin’ but hustlin’ and lovin’ it, always”, Rachmany declares.
“Calling Me Out” questions why others have to point out each other’s differences, and advises us that “sometimes you just gotta let things go.” The echoed guitar lends the tune a dreamy feel. The album draws to a close with “Honeypot”, a soft California-style piece about things that are bigger than us. The boys keep it simple sans drums paired with the soft “ahh”-ing of Rachmany, leaving us with a feeling of peace and tolerance.
While exploring genres across the board, Rebelution remained true to their roots in a fresh, original way. The overall theme of personable responsibility, peace, love, and of course, good vibes are what make Rebelution a signature voice in the music industry.
Written by Jamie Jones
OurVinyl | Contributor