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Revolver Soul

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Album Review

Revolver Soul is exactly the kind of album Alabama 3 should be doing seven records deep into their career — not breaking the mold, but delving deeper into their trademark sound while trimming the filler and unnecessary fooling around that plagued even their best work. The core is intact — hip-hop and dance beats are intermingled with Southern grooves, Reverend Larry Love drones like the most relaxed preacher of the Apocalypse ever, and it's gospel choirs all around. Compared to their own classics, Revolver Soul is more steeped in electronica, stretching robotic synthesizer textures over their beats and croons to produce some warped variation of soul industrial on tracks like "Bad to the Bone" instead of the regular techno-blues-funk mash-up, though there's enough of that on the record, too. Dabbling in hellish synth pop could have been an easy way to cover for lack of rhymes and grooves, but A3 lack neither here, and the poppy keyboards are used to emphasize their own sound, not produce a surrogate — the group still offers the same unique mix of chill and venom, just does it in a more streamlined, immediate fashion. But the arrangements are as stylistically dense as ever, and it's telling that even "Fix It," recorded with king of Irish alcohol-fueled folk-punk, Shane MacGowan, sounds no less an A3 song than the rest of the tunes on the album, which generally plays like a set of Everlast remixes with monstrous hooks. Revolver Soul does not feel as fundamental as La Peste or Exile on Coldharbour Lane (though not for lack of trying), but it's more focused than either of those, and catchy from start to finish — what's more to ask?

Customer Reviews

Dark, Dirty and Downright Genius.

Every once in a while an album is released that sounds different to everything that has come before. A tingle of sheer pleasure spreads from your ears throughout your whole body, and you know that you're in the presence of greatness. Revolver Soul is one of those albums: from the haunting intro to the frenetic energy of 'Bad to the Bone' and 'Fix It', it really doesn't get much better than this. Add to this musical ingenuity the fact that the band have broken away from the mainstream industry and created their own record label to release the album and Revolver Soul takes on a bold, political dimension. Not only do they talk the talk (see 'Vietnamistan'), but Alabama 3 also *run* the walk. Definitely recommended if you're looking for something that takes the mould, breaks it and melts it down into something completely original and exciting.

The band are on tour now.

My favourite album of the last 2 years AT LEAST!

well what can i say another triumph from the brixton boys and girls!I think this album could be the best one yet from the Alabama 3 and possibly my favourite album of the last 2 years at least! a few words to discribe this album DIRTY/DARK/BRILLIANT... Cant wait to hear it live!

Keeping the faith

Powerful stuff and well worth the wait. As the others say, if you really want to hear something different and a band going places then where have you been all these years? Most of their albums have tended to be a reaction to the one before and the dark fuzz on this is certainly a contrast to the deliberately clean Eagles-esque MOR (although check out the '12 Steps' interim release available from their website - quite the maddest thing made in a long, long time). While it doesn't quite hit the heights of Holy Blood and Sweet Joy (what could?), after two listens this seems a much tighter, more consistent affair and they're clearly still pushing ahead to see what's possible. It's certainly good to hear their early confidence back again - I guess the title says it all (having referenced the Stones' best on their first album, now it's the Beatles' turn, but boy is there anything more different to the Beatles than this?). Enough blurb - just buy it and then see them live. Otherwise derive what contentment you can from never having known greatness.


Formed: 1996 in London, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Alabama 3 was one of the oddest musical outfits to arise from late-'90s London, but also one of the most original. The band's origins are shrouded in urban myth -- the band likes to claim that the three core members met in rehab, while their Southern accents have many believing they are from the U.S. state of Alabama, although it appears vocalists Rob Spragg and Jake Black met at a London rave when Spragg heard Black singing Hank Williams' "Lost Highway." Bonding, they set out about creating an agenda...
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Revolver Soul, Alabama 3
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Customer Ratings