For Baltimore quintet, Revolve, The Road To Here is an appropriate title for their debut EP. Like most DIY bands in hard rock today, Revolve has had to deal with their share of bumps along “the road to here.” Now that they have solidified their lineup and established themselves under a new name, the time has come for this band to take things to the next level and become a household name on the hard rock scene and on Active Rock radio.
The Road To Here is a 5-song EP that was produced by Sevendust guitarist, Clint Lowery. While his involvement gives Revolve a leg up on many DIY artists, the band’s musicianship, cohesiveness and ability to write powerfully melodic hard rock music is what really makes you stand up and take notice.
Months before the release of The Road To Here, the excitement was already starting to build around Revolve when they released their first single, “Stranded.” The song was featured on Hard Rock Daddy’s Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of 2014, was the pick of the week on the first HRD Radio Report of 2015, and was also featured on Music Discovery Monday alongside an interview with guitarist, Debbie Barlow. Needless to say, the bar was set fairly high for the rest of the EP, which more than lives up to the lofty expectations set by “Stranded.”
The intensity hits you from the opening note of the first song on the EP, “Believe.” Heavy rhythms provide an ideal foundation for Thommy Michaels to showcase melody-drenched vocals and for impressive guitar shredding that is reminiscent of the glory days of 80s hard rock (albeit with a current sound). Beyond their playing, one thing that makes the guitar duo of Dave Phelps and Debbie Barlow stand out from most is the fact that they are a married couple.
While Revolve has their own distinct overall sound, you can hear the influence of some of the top acts in hard rock today in their music (Breaking Benjamin, Shinedown, and of course, Sevendust amongst others).
Following “Believe” and “Stranded” is “Buried Alive” – a song very much in Shinedown’s wheelhouse. In fact, with a proven track record, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that “Buried Alive” would rocket up the charts if it was recorded by Shinedown. Hopefully, programmers will let the music do the talking (rather than the cache of a band name) and give the track the attention that it deserves when the time comes.
“Superhero” shows off Revolve’s ability to incorporate slower tempo songs into the mix, while still sticking to their melodic, intense sound.
If you are a fan of bands like Shinedown, Breaking Benjamin and Sevendust, make sure to check out what Revolve has to offer with The Road To Here. The only real disappointment is that it ends too soon (but that’s what the replay button is for, I suppose).