Revere has been knocking about the UK music scene for about five years now. Over that time the band has steadily grown in both size and scope, from original duo Stephen Ellis and Andrew Hawke to its current eight-strong line up featuring glockenspiel, a horn section and strings.
On Hey! Selim, their debut album from Albino Recordings, we find this larger Revere in epic mood, mixing Ennio Morricone style cinematic scoring, gypsy music, folk and Eastern European influences. Think Sigor Ros with a dash of Django Reinhardt and Clint Eastwood and you are somewhere near the sound they’ve conjured up.
The first half is the most accessible and where the best, most festival-crowd pleasing songs reside. ‘As The Radars Sleep’, the horn laden ‘We Won’t Be Here Tomorrow’ and ‘The Escape Artist’, are among many highlights.
The second half is less accessible, but give it time and what at first sounds meandering soon becomes as appealing as the first half’s more radio friendly tracks.
‘I Bet You Want Blood’ is typical of this grower tag for the latter half. What starts off as a Doors-esque bluesy number soon opens out into Morricone horns as the pace builds up beautifully.
And on the low key ‘Too Many Satellites’ violin effectively takes centre stage, as it does on opener Forgotten Names and thereby creating a satisfying arc to the album.
One of the surprises of Hey! Selim is that it is a debut at all, that the band in all their guises and with an alumni that includes Rachel Unthank, has taken so long to come up with an album. It’s worth the wait though as Hey! Selim is one of the most powerful and ambitious albums you will hear from a UK band this year.
by Joe Lepper