The Revolution Smile - Above The Noise (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Revolution Smile

Above The Noise (2003)


With the breakup of seminal angst-rock band Far in the mid-nineties, people wondered what would happen to their members. Singer Jonah took the more indie-pop route, with his solo Onelinedrawing recordings, as well as an uber-poppy album from New End Original. Fans of Far were slightly baffled at this move, as Far, while being rather melodic, was still very heavy and somewhat dark at times. So where did all the frustration go?

With Far guitarist Shaun Lopez, apparently. His new band, the Revolution Smile, is chock full of possibly sincere [but highly marketable] grungy post-hardcore angst. The band's sound, one of perhaps Foo Fighters-meets-Quicksand, is one that's been done a million times over, but Lopez's vocals are compelling, even if what he's singing isn't.

Many of the baker's dozen of songs on here feature a trademark of the mid-nineties alternarock scene - the one-to-two note song [the lower it is, the better]. Far and Quicksand were masters of it; the Deftones still are. The Revolution Smile, however, does it way too much to be taken seriously [and could they tune any lower on "Bonethrower?" I mean, really!].

But even with simplistic riffs, the rock here really does rock. "Payday" and "Alien" are both solid melodic rockers that could easily be topping the modern rock charts. "Orange" reads as a big middle fingers to their former comrades at Buddyhead, with lyrics like "It's hard to talk with a gun in your mouth / how does it feel to be fucked over?" It's probably the darkest and heaviest song on the album, and where a lot of Lopez's gutteral noises sound too forced on the majority of this CD, his growls seem to come naturally with this song.

There is a lot of controversy surrounding this band - how they were signed to Buddyhead but Fred Durst stole them away for his own label, et al. To his credit, Durst's mark on this album doesn't seem to be much - this band, to me at least, still sounds the same as when Buddyhead was interested in them. The only blatant Durst-ism on the disc is the misspelling of "Barrel" in the liner notes. I don't know how, but he had to be responsible for that fuckup. Anyway, the disc is a solid, if predictable of rehashed late-nineties hard rock. Odds are this is one of those "special value" CDs on sale at Best Buy for 8 bucks or something. I say it's worth your money until they start charging over 10 bucks for it.

Bonethrower - Windows Media Real Player

Bonethrower - Windows Media Real Player