The New York City-based Rebel Kicks are certainly making waves. While their latest single “Past Life” has caught the attention of many, fans in NYC are in for a treat. Rebel Kicks are set to perform at The Cutting Room in NYC this Friday, November 3rd at 3:30pm, marking their biggest NYC show to date. But before diving into the details of their upcoming show, let’s discuss their mesmerizing single.
I’m blown away a little by the confidence brimming off Rebel Kicks’ new single “Past Life”. The steady and assertive stride that the band’s playing and arrangement achieved in such a relatively short window testifies to the immense talents harnessed by the band’s members. It doesn’t sound forced to my ears, it’s predictable perhaps but in the best possible way, and it doesn’t leave you wanting something more from the experience. Checking off the customary boxes while also establishing a personal songwriting aesthetic alongside an unmistakable sound further distinguishes this single for me.
I like to think I’m not that easy to impress. You be the judge. Rebel Kicks’ “Past Life” seems to explode into being for me, yet it never comes off as crass or heavy-handed. They work together as parts in a larger musical machine, you won’t hear any extended spotlights for the individual band members, and one result of that approach is the overriding feeling of a single unit working as one.
It gives “Past Life” an enormous presence. This is especially true for the song’s chorus. Rebel Kicks brings all of the song’s assorted strengths to a boil for these moments and ramps up the intensity the right amount of notches. There’s no spiraling off into shrill histrionics. The transitions, as well, from verse to chorus and then back out again, come across skillfully and never miss a beat.
I think the cut has an appeal that cuts across several demographics. Young listeners who like their pop with a strong beat and guitar will latch onto Rebel Kicks’ sound while pop music fans will likewise feel hooked by the song’s glittering onrush and its numerous melodic virtues. Young and old alike, as well, will appreciate the obvious skill that goes into this song’s creation even if, in the end, they can’t get behind it all the way.
The sound has weight, warmth, and builds intimacy with listeners. “Past Life” benefits from production that establishes its authority with the listener without ever overwhelming them. It’s an important distinction. The song’s sound likewise helps accentuate its driving qualities for listeners; it really fills a room from the outset and never relents.
It’s an excellent way for the New York City-based band to introduce their forthcoming EP release somewhere.in.between . Bands of every ilk tend to lead with strength when it comes to an initial single release and I expect Rebel Kicks is no different in that regard, so we can assume that “Past Life” is one of the pending EP’s high points.
If the band comes up with another 2-3 tracks this good or better, they’ve got a home run on their hands. Songs such as this and the other tracks recorded for their EP will be staples in the band’s live set going forward for some time, so it behooves any band to be at their best. I expect more goodies to come. Rebel Kicks’ somewhere.in.between will likely continue pushing and perpetuating the band’s fresh take on time-tested forms and assure the New York City group is mentioned among 2023’s best.
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