~Tirhakah Love (@GoonTherapy)
We are perched high in the trees, fluttering between dissonant forests of psychedelic funk, groovily synthesized amid the backdrop of a sweet lullaby, “Feel the world on your heels.” The song, “Scarlett,” on their newest work, “The Freshman” is the amalgam of electrified blues and graspable imagery representing the height of California rock collective, Revolushn, powers. When lead songwriter NO met Grammy-award winning engineer, Aaron Conner (of Bone Thugz-n-Harmony repute), a 12-piece musical collective from across the country was hardly the goal. But following the success of a Kansas City anthem and 50,000 YouTube clicks, the duo realized that this music schtick might actually work. Now their second full LP, “The Freshman” has hit the scene and featured their most diverse body of work yet.
Revolushn is a heavily inspired project with nods to Pink Floyd, psychedelic-era Beatles and King Gizzard but “The Freshman” opens with a throwback to The Clash in “Suck It Up,” a matter of fact screeching rock rhythm with a devil-may-care attitude. Though it’d return most prominently on their third track, “Been Thinking,” raw defiance isn’t the calling card. Revolushn shines when they’re conducting psych experiments. The wavering effect of tremelo’s in “Dark Matter” and the bookended touch of electricity on the otherwise acoustic “Vulcan Love Song” are all subtle breakages of form. Falsetto squeels from the dark studio ether careen in and out of the darkness between guitar riffs. The task of representing a wide range of musical contributions is carried, triumphantly, by Connor who masterfully layers screeches and rapid chord progression in a way that never felt too loud or convoluted. The project works because all the moving pieces are felt when they need to be.
Psychedelic rock has been a recipient of undue criticism because of its emphasis on aesthetic rather than substance. But lyrically and thematically, Revolushn is so focused on world-creating that you hardly realize the world its building is fantastical. But they don’t stay there. There’s still personality brimming on each record, waiting to be unearthed under all the noise. “The Freshman” is a careful psych-rock rooted in blues. Paying homage to those genres and molding a place of their own, Revolushn’s new work is imbibed with an immensely singular urgency carried along by a determined and sprawling new rock collective.
Here are some resources to learn more about Revolushn: