Rebel Spies! - Rise! (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Rebel Spies!

Rise! (2017)

underground communique

I first came across Rebel Spies! when they played in Grand Rapids with 88 Fingers Louie and Break Anchor back in the summer of 2015. I picked up their debut seven inch, Before I Die, I Shall Destroy the Rebel Spies!, and loved it almost instantly. The Detroit quintet is made up of veteran musicians from The Suicide Machines, Hellmouth and Telegraph among others. It’s classic punk and hardcore along the lines of Bad Religion, Misfits, TSOL and 7 Seconds. It’s like the music was custom made for older punks. It’s both melodic and aggressive, with just a hint of 80’s metal. (Think maybe Dio or Grim Reaper.)

I’ve been patiently waiting for a Rebel Spies! full length, and Rise! does not disappoint. All three songs from the 7” are here, and all three are standouts. “We Must Be Cautious”, “What Have I Done” and “Fire When Ready” lay a firm foundation for the LP. A fourth song, “See You In Hell”, was also previously released on the cassette version of the 7” and is an absolute ripper. The seven new songs are of the same high quality, from opener “That Mask” to closer “Not Dead, Not Yet”.It's hard to pick favorites among the new songs. They’re all pretty catchy, but I really like “Sorry About the Mess”, “No”, and “Not Dead, Not Yet”.

I previously mentioned that Rebel Spies! would appeal to older punks. While that’s true, there’s a lot on Rise! for anyone to like. There are plenty of crunchy metallic riffs and sing along choruses. The slightly raw production is perfect for this kind of music. (Too many bands these days polish everything to death.) The songs and the minimalist packaging, have a cool, creepy, horror movie vibe. Rise! is so good that I can even forgive them for all the superfluous exclamation points! You should be listening to Rebel Spies!