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River City Rebels - Hate To Be Loved (Cover Artwork)

River City Rebels

River City Rebels: Hate To Be LovedHate To Be Loved (2004)
Victory Records

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:


Contributed by: adamAdam
(others by this writer | submit your own)

The River City Rebels have turned a corner here, but the direction they're headed in will likely polarize their fan base. Personally I've always been a bit ambivalent to the band. Sure, they're a mainstay touring band and their commitment to the road is commendable, but the band's rehashed `77-a.
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The River City Rebels have turned a corner here, but the direction they're headed in will likely polarize their fan base.

Personally I've always been a bit ambivalent to the band. Sure, they're a mainstay touring band and their commitment to the road is commendable, but the band's rehashed `77-anthems simply didn't stand up as well as the similar rehashed `77-anthems that were coming from bands like Rancid or the US Bombs. RCR, due to the sheer volume of similar bands more than any fault of their own, have always just seemed like also-rans.

However their latest effort Hate To Be Loved is quite interesting in that it finds the band channelling the New York Dolls and Dictators rather than The Clash. Strangely enough the River City Rebels sound far more comfortable in this skin than their prior one. Bopper's snotty, often high-pitched, vocals are a better fit for sleazy glam than they are guttural shout-along street punk. Just compare the scathing "Hurt Like I Do" to "Dreamy 17" for an on-disc example. Not that the moments when the Rebels lapse into their past songwriting styles are of lesser quality, far from it, but the band's current direction has far more character and is just simply more interesting.

Yet therein lies the question: Are the River City Rebels shamelessly jumping styles to a more fashion conscious and arguably trendier genre?

...and the answer is "yes, but they've done it the right way." The Rebels have always percolated just below the surface of being one of the bigger modern punk bands, so I'd argue that while this move might sour a few old fans, the "re-imaging" of the Rebels ultimately works to their benefit. Also while they've moved out of somewhat stagnant post-Clash waters they didn't do something as blatantly trendy as jumping on the post-Television bandwagon. The New York Dolls may be getting more press from the punk / garage community as of late due to their Morrissey-fostered reunion shows, but I'd say they're far from the top of today's hipster rip-off list (on which Gang Of Four and PIL reign supreme). Finally the fact that NYDolls guitarist Syl Sylvain is in the producer's chair gives this whole shift not only a root cause, but a nod towards credibility (the fact that Victory's ever voracious press machine hasn't jumped all over this fact is rather surprising too).

The album opening "Hurt Like I Do" forgoes the usual bombastic lead track and instead starts things off with a slow building, vulnerable rock song. The glam influences and the Rebels' ever present knack for a good chorus shine through on "I'm So Vain" and "No Easy Way Out." There's a blues swagger that runs through the record, emerging rather viciously in "Die Young" and in a more jovial way in "Her New Man." If recording under Sylvain and band's current image doesn't drive the point home, there's even a cover of Otis Redding's "Don't Mess With Cupid," also famously covered by... you guessed it...

If you can put up with the obvious hero worship, and I can, Hate To Be Loved is quite the competent and enjoyable rock record. Top it off with a great stable of guest musicians, Lisa Fischer, ex-D Generation frontman Jesse Malin and Slackers lead Vic Ruggerio among others, and the River City Rebels have crafted one of the more enjoyable records of their career.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
lizrancid (October 28, 2006)

This album and River city rebels in general are an incredible band! They are really great guys and have worked extremely hard to make it where they are today!! ROCK ON REBELS!!! small town pride!

GlassPipeMurder (August 5, 2006)

I like it a lot.

swingline (June 1, 2006)

selloutz and bandwagon jumpers, neither applies to the rebels and your arguments are fucking stupid.

Anonymous (April 16, 2006)

This album is the best thing RCR ever put out. OnTheAttack, punk was a fashion/music trend in the late 70's srry 2 burst ur bbl.

Anonymous (March 2, 2006)

Sellouts? Explain to me how much cash these 'millionares' actually made from 'selling out'? Last time i heard, these guys were on the road constantly earning there fans, and limiting themselves to five bucks a day spending cash. That includes money for food. And how in the hell is splintering your fanbase selling out? Any intelligent person realizes that when your a band in the punk scene the last thing (financially speaking) you want to do is change your sound. All the scene police jump off the wagon. Sadly, maybe 20 percent of the punk fans out there are open to something different, while the rest of the 80 thing G.G. Allen is cool. Great album.

Tommy

Anonymous (December 12, 2005)

washed out, imposters...

I have never seen such a group of sell-outs in my life.

the rebels can eat it.

Anonymous (December 29, 2004)

BEST ALBUM OF 2004!

BEST LIVE BAND ON THE SCENE!

sorry haters.. but the REBELS ARE HERE TO STAY!!

.xo.

swingline (December 21, 2004)

to the jackass below me...

Options: Comment

"write a horrible review" is not an option.

hstisgod (November 12, 2004)

What do you get when you mix 70’s Roots Punk, 80’s Glam Rock and all the brass the two genres can handle without spilling over like an overfull glass of orange juice? Victory Records recording artists River City Rebels, and their fourth LP, “Hate To Be Loved”.

Like the redheaded stepchild of every rock band in the last 20 years, this album stares the entire recording industry with not a care in the world. Bright pink liner notes, and model like poses and smiles from each of its members is the least of the over abundant hamming out present on this product. With that out of the way, how bout the music? It’s quite impossible to compare these guys to any one artist in particular; they have somehow achieved the moniker 'Sounds like everyone on cocaine'. Track one “Hurt Like I do” is a sour noted Punk ballad proving you’re never too punk to complain. “Does a black heart love the same, and can a pair of these stay in love? I’ll make you hurt like I Do, and I’ll never think twice”.

Track two is certainly something more to talk about, and promptly what Rebels fans have become accustomed to. Brass, and Guitar hold hands as this song with bounce saves face for track one. Pushed to the limit, this track features blends of one chord punk strums, esophagus emptying glam screams, and quick minded guitar solos that would make pop garage sensations Jet feel foolish. Quickly switching over to track three the title track “Hate to be loved”, one has to wonder if the song even changed. Still an appealing brass and one chord method, this time you’ll be serenaded with a low voiced bridge just before the song hits its climax.

With song titles such as “Dreamy 17”, “Glitter and Gold”, and “Don’t mess with Cupid”
no critic will have the right to accuse these guys of pretending to be something they’re not. More enticing to the traditional punk fan may be track nine “I wilt”, coupling together the sounds of The Ramones, and The Supertones while the lyrical content carries the same direction. “Without a word, I wilt. Without a sound, I wilt, I wilt away.” Screaming with a drum pedal backbone, this song showcases an obvious talent for live shows.

Surely throwing together a blistering 2 minutes 30 seconds is “Her New Man”. Starting off more like Reverend Horton Heat, this track hybrid’s more than just a Rockabilly Punk and Ska sound. I couldn't tell you exactly why but somewhere in this track I’m reminded of the Bop Rock sound of the fifties. Throw in the occasional piano and violin as a topping. Like fudge on top of a banana split fans of Buckcherry, Catch 22, The Ramones, and Guns N Roses may find themselves enthralled with such a record. But from the sounds of this record so far, this is the kind of material better suited to be heard live in some random bar first, then a trip to your local indie store.

Anonymous (November 9, 2004)

You either love it... or you hate it. (Hate to be loved...)

I love it.

--Laura
Detroit Rouser

Anonymous (November 6, 2004)

Great album. Even if you don't have the album, just go see them in concert. They are one of the greatest live bands I have seen in a long time. Dan and the rest of the band really put on a show, they even pulled some fans from a crowd full of psychobillies.

Anonymous (November 1, 2004)

Man, I wish ripping off the New York Dolls was actually scene. Then the shitty local bands wouldn't be as terrible to sit through. No, instead we get some kids that love Minor Threat, and that's all I have to say about that...
HCS

Anonymous (November 1, 2004)

I think you guy's got the response you were looking for when you named the record... This is the sound of my gun... douche, douche, douche. POSERS

MrStabone (November 1, 2004)

haven't heard this one, but I have the yellow one and it really wasn't that good....live they really got the crowd going, but I don't think the record could capture that....

i'd like to see what Syl could do with them....

all the people talking shit: you just don't get it...

i hung out with this band for a week when they opened the Pietasters/VGS tour last fall.....and they are all nice guys....especially dan.....

Anonymous (October 31, 2004)

AHAHAH for once AP gets it right!
cool job there on the attack

Anonymous (October 31, 2004)

OnTheAttack, I cant beleive youre 'proud' of that....

Anonymous (October 31, 2004)

this is a band of queers for little gaycore kids.
remember aids is the gay plague

Anonymous (October 30, 2004)

This is one band i thought i'd never really hate.. probably because their transformation from good to shit was so impossible to predict. they are a group of shit talking fake ass pussies... i used to like them, fuck river city rebels and fuck dan o' days "lead singer" attitude.

Anonymous (October 30, 2004)

"It must be uncomfortable riding around in a van all day wearing all those hot topic garmets"

damn, what hot topic do you shop at?

OnTheAttack (October 30, 2004)

I'm gonna post it again because I just updated it:

http://www.livejournal.com/users/number_2_wnb

Anonymous (October 29, 2004)

It must be uncomfortable riding around in a van all day wearing all those hot topic garmets.Or do you pack it in a box that says "For showtime only." Having sex with you guys must be like the scene in Police Academy where Hightower disrobes to do some pumpin.Bopper get a big L tattooed on your forehead.

Anonymous (October 29, 2004)

Yes!
that live journal thing rules!

Anonymous (October 29, 2004)

id say check out that live journal link asshole. Seems that kid has it right. As for being RCR's little butt buddy, i just say use protection, you dont know how many little boys dan o gay has been with.

Anonymous (October 29, 2004)

Man, I wish ripping off the New York Dolls was actually scene. Then the shitty local bands wouldn't be as terrible to sit through. No, instead we get some kids that love Rancid, and that's all I have to say about that...

-BSD

Anonymous (October 29, 2004)

since when is glam the new trend? i dont see much of it anywhere, maybe im not watching enough mtv. although i think they feed off the love/hate thing people have with them.

i dig the attitude, image, and tunes.

buckkkky-rukiiizzzz (October 29, 2004)

''Sense when is rollin with Velvet Revolver cool? Fuck them and RCR. I would probably have more respect for this band if they did trend hop.
My next guess is they bring in a skinhead rob guy for the next album and have him rap. THat is of course if the transplants become the next big thing.
what a bunch of jerkoffs.''

You're just a waste of space and have no idea what you're talkin about..It seems the new trend is jealousy..Hipocrite??

buckkkky-rukiiizzzz (October 29, 2004)

Mr anonymous, how well do you know these guys?? Its obvious to me not very..

''Being an asshole is never in good fun when one does it all the time.''

Anonymous (October 29, 2004)

*didnt trend hop..

Anonymous (October 29, 2004)

Sense when is rollin with Velvet Revolver cool? Fuck them and RCR. I would probably have more respect for this band if they did trend hop.
My next guess is they bring in a skinhead rob guy for the next album and have him rap. THat is of course if the transplants become the next big thing.
what a bunch of jerkoffs.

Anonymous (October 29, 2004)

Being an asshole is never in good fun when one does it all the time.

buckkkky-rukiiizzzz (October 29, 2004)

It's almost nauseating to witness such ignorance and neggativity toward this band. I have never known a band to start out with such little and make it to where these guys have made it today. The last thing this band has done is 'sold out' or however some might word it..If anything, they have progressed, worked there fucking asses off for years and have finally produced some great fuckin tunes.. I remember the days when Dan and Bridget were selling homemade silkscreened patches out of the back of there car and livin in the middle of nowhere Vermont..They've sucked up every ounce of bullshit reviews and shitty, discouraging douchebags like 90 percent of the fucks who visit this site and are now rollin with bands such as Velvet Revolver and producing records with one of the very few remaining punk rock legends sylvain from the fuckin dolls..The rebels really deserve the best and more..Sure they might be assholes, but it's all in good fun! Maybe there sound is a little different..Suck it up and keep an open mind..Quit bein jealous little pricks, loosen up a little and enjoy the smooth sounds of rcr..They've got more heart and integrity than just about any other band I have ever known. Dan does have a fuckin jungle even the sharpest blades can hardly conquer growin on his back but come on..

Anonymous (October 29, 2004)

the last time i saw this band was 2 years ago but they always put on a pretty good live show, i just don't think it translated too well to cd. i don't know whats going on with this glam thing, just seems like riding a new image to me.

Anonymous (October 28, 2004)

.river city, vermont is white river junction, vermont.
.the strippers are ugly because they're friends of the band and not real strippers
.they're not assholes. i promise.
.weird al sucks no matter how you look at it.
.they're far from rich. except for rylan...
.why does it matter if a band changed what they sound like? if you like the album, sweet, if you don't, don't listen to it.

"This band used to do the SKANK and now they are the SKANK... Fuck River City Dipshits. Hey by the way what city in Vermont is the "River City"?? And also what were you rebelling against? Mommy wouldnt buy you a van??
fuckin' fucks"

.you're a dumbass.

-S

Anonymous (October 28, 2004)

wow
this
band
sucks

Anonymous (October 28, 2004)

This band used to do the SKANK and now they are the SKANK... Fuck River City Dipshits. Hey by the way what city in Vermont is the "River City"?? And also what were you rebelling against? Mommy wouldnt buy you a van??
fuckin' fucks

Anonymous (October 28, 2004)

fuck rcr....what the fuck is happening to the bands i used to love?

Anonymous (October 28, 2004)

i think this band is merely getting used to what sound they want, even if it has taken a couple albums to figure it out. there is nothing wrong with that either. at least they aren't hardcore or doing a rap song with "skinhead" rob.

Anonymous (October 27, 2004)

i dont get why everyons saying theyre just changing their sound to be trendy.

they could have easily put out another punxxx record and had tons of little punk rock fans. instead they did pretty glam-y sounding thing,and i think its their best work. its not pop punk,its not hardcore,its not screamo,its not garage,its not dancy 80s stuff. so theyre clearly not playing THAT trendy of a style..

TurboAcsOwnYou (October 27, 2004)

This band is a bunch of wanna be's.. the next album will be whatever is sorta underground and cool in the punk scene. Fuck this band of assholes. please get your own identity and that live journal thing is fuckin great. nice work

punkpirate (October 27, 2004)

I agree with gladimnotemo, it seems like thier haveing fun doing a "dolls" type record. People need to lay off and let bands do what they want to do. It seems like these guy wanted to do this kind of album and they did, it's not like they were pressured by a label to calm thier sound or sound more like Good Charolette. And shit who dosn't like The New York Dolls?

gladimnotemo (October 27, 2004)

I see it as the Rebels are merely taking a break and having fun. Who cares if the whole album is about love and heartbreak and whatever? The fact that they're doing a Dolls-sound sweetens the deal for me.

AP gave this a 2. AP does not know music.

Anonymous (October 27, 2004)

This band is HANDS DOWN the worst band I've ever heard. Go back to Vermont rich boys...
hugs and kisses
Leroy Brown

Anonymous (October 27, 2004)

this record is great from start to finish

the rebels are HANDS DOWN the most exciting band on the scene..

sickboi (October 27, 2004)

What a bunch of dorks.

Anonymous (October 27, 2004)

"Weird Al has more integrity than these guys. And better songs."

Weird Al has more integrity and better songs than most of the bands mentioned on this site, if not all of them.

skankin_in_the_pit (October 27, 2004)

Nice guys when I hung with them in 2001, complete assholes now. I'm ashamed that I have an old "Racism, Religion, and War" shirt hanging in my closet. I really like 2 of their previous 3 records but this is pure crap. Worst record i've paid for in at least a couple years.

adam (October 27, 2004)

"To the guys who run this site, glam rock is not punk!"

Thanks bippo. I don't know how I'd get thorugh another day without someone correcting me on the definition of punk.

-adam

Anonymous (October 27, 2004)

a very dynamic record...probably the best record i've heard all year.
-zak
www.chunksaah.com

Anonymous (October 27, 2004)

The score is for the each of the different image incarnations of this band we have seen with each release.

Weird Al has more integrity than these guys. And better songs.

homie (October 27, 2004)

How can Vic from the Slackers be on this release and it still sucks so much? The most blatant sell out (i.e., changing your style to become more popular) that I've seen in a long time. I loved their first album and this "band" does not resemble that at all. I predict a break-up within the year a la Guns and Roses.

To the guys who run this site, glam rock is not punk!

Awful, just awful.

Anonymous (October 27, 2004)

First album was incredible, second album was still pretty awesome, third album began to bring the suck, from the tracks I've heard off this one it's bad bad bad. So you got a New york Doll to produce your record and now you sound like the New York Dolls. Jesus, show a little individuality. or get Tim or Lars to produce and continue to sound a bit like Rancid. That would be acceptable. Hypocrisy? Yeah, but who cares.

Anonymous (October 27, 2004)

There are only a select few bands that would fall into the same genre that are worse than River City Rebels.

These guys are fucking awful.

8dollarclarinetsolo (October 27, 2004)

do these guys have horns?

Anonymous (October 27, 2004)

that livejournal just makes me like the band alot more.

anyways,i never liked this band untill i saw them over the summer,it was a fun show,but i still dont care for their records.i wanna check this one out though.

and they coverd "do you love me" which is awesome.

Anonymous (October 27, 2004)

A great live band but for me it just doesn't translate well on to CD

andrew13 (October 27, 2004)

i love this cd... they are one of the best live bands i have ever seen and this cd, while not being what i expected grows on you fast...

dreamy 17, hurt like i do, her new man,don't mess with cupid, and no easy way out are all incredible tracks...

also they have 7 memebers, which is now 6 since bags left...

OnTheAttack (October 27, 2004)

www.livejournal.com/users/number_2_wnb

maverick (October 26, 2004)

How can this band have, like, 15 members, but still sound like a three-piece?

-Scott

Anonymous (October 26, 2004)

I do give them props for evolving their sound unlike so many other bands. They also have pretty decent chops. I was pleasantly surprised to see Vic on the record. Despite their talent, they are still grade a assholes.

Anonymous (October 26, 2004)

the art work is lame,but the musics good. kinda johnny thunders-ish.

Anonymous (October 26, 2004)

Not my cup 'o tea

-bemused-

adam (October 26, 2004)

Oh, and these guys must have been taking art lessions from Lars Frederiksen.

-adam

Anonymous (October 26, 2004)

What's up with the cover? That guy looks like how Tim Amstrong would look if he got a hair transplant and modeled for L'Oréal.

-Chinatown

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