Independent rock band Faith & Scars’ debut album Revolver officially drops today. The eight-song record runs only 26-minutes, but in that time, it proves itself a strong debut from the band. That is proven in part through the record’s collective musical arrangements. They will be discussed shortly. For all that the arrangements do for the album’s presentation, it does bring about at least one concern – its sequencing. The sequencing does not make the album a failure, but is something that cannot be ignored. It will be addressed a little later. The concern raised by Revolver’s sequencing is its only real notable negative. Its impact is lessened through an examination of the record’s lyrical content, which when coupled with the musical arrangements, makes for even more appeal. Considering the noted appeal and the one minor concern, Revolver still proves itself a work that has plenty of its own firepower.
Faith & Scars’ debut album (and second studio recording – the band’s first studio recording was its 2016 EP Highway Ride) is a positive start for the up-and-coming independent rock band. That is proven in part through the record’s musical arrangements. The arrangements in question are largely southern and pure, guitar rock-tinged compositions. They are easily comparable to works from the likes of Sons of Texas, Charm City Devils, and Black Heart Saints. That is clear in listening to the twang in the guitar line and the heaviness in the drums. Front man Roger Glenn’s vocal delivery even has that certain southern rock twang in his delivery style, adding to that noted comparison. The more modern guitar rock sound makes itself known early on slightly in ‘Rain.’ Right from the song’s opening bars and its heavy intro, listeners get thoughts of Motley Crue. That influence gives way as the song proceeds, to more of the noted southern rock sound before returning to a more modern rock sound in the choruses. What’s interesting to note here is that the more modern rock sound in those choruses is comparable to works from Saliva. Audiences get even more of that Saliva-type sound in ‘Breathe,’ the album’s midpoint. The Charm City Devils comparison is just as evident in the song’s arrangement as the Saliva influence, adding to its appeal. ‘Never The Same’ also boasts the noted Saliva influence. As the album reaches its end, audiences get more of the Motley Crue influence, except in this case, it is in the more subdued fashion akin to that band’s more reserved works. There is also a slight hint of a Zac Brown Band influence here thanks to the subtlety in the guitar, bass and drums. Looking back through all of this, what audiences get in Revolver’s musical arrangements is a collection of compositions that gives them a solid range of influences and styles. That in itself makes for plenty of reason in itself for audiences to hear this record. For all that the record’s musical content does to help its presentation, the record does raise one concern. That concern is its sequencing.
Revolver’s sequencing poses a problem that one cannot ignore, yet in the album’s defense, it is not such that it makes the album a failure. The sequencing proves a problem primarily because of the placement of just one song – ‘Lightning.’ ‘Lightning’ closes out the album and is the record’s sole reserved moment. Even ‘Never The Same,’ which does have its own slightly reserved points, is not as pulled back as this song’s arrangement. Every other moment in this eight-song record is so adrenaline-fueled. So to go from having so much energy throughout to the stark, sudden change in the record’s finale is just uncomfortable. Listeners will find themselves wanting to accept the song’s placement, but it is just so difficult. Looking at the album from a purely observational standpoint, it would have made so much more sense to made the song the record’s midpoint. Had the band (and whomever made the final decision on the sequencing) gone that route, the album would have been a perfect start for the band. That is especially the case in considering the overall structure of ‘Never The Same.’ The way in which that song balances its more fiery and more reserved moments and the way in which it closes would have made for a much smoother finale. Of course hindsight is 20/20. Again, this is a concern that listeners cannot ignore, but even considering that, is not enough to ruin the album’s presentation. The record’s lyrical content couples with its musical arrangement to make for even more appeal.
The lyrical content featured in Revolver is important to note in examining the album because of its accessibility. Case in point is the lyrical content featured in the album’s lead single, ‘Breathe.’ The band talked about that content in a prepared statement back in March when the band premiered the song and its video.
“In a time where the world seems so divided, ‘Breathe’ is a song meant to crate hope for anyone who is struggling,” the statement reads. “We want to let everyone know that they are not alone in the trials they face. We hope that we can lead by example and show that even when life brings you to your lowest point, you can still rise up and live a life worth leading.”
On another note, audiences get a southern pride anthem of sorts in ‘Nothin’ Wrong.’ Glenn sings in the song, that “there ain’t nothin’ wrong wit ha rebel yell/Take a shot of whiskey/And raise some hell.” There are also mentions of enjoying trips to Louisiana, Florida, North Carolina, etc. Again, this is a full-on tribute to all things southern. It will definitely get its share of audiences putting their horns in the air. It is just one more example of what makes the album’s lyrical content so important. ‘Long Way Home’ presents yet another way in which the album’s lyrical content proves so important.
‘Long Way Home’ is a song that centers on one’s self-care, according to a statement that the band released upon the debut of the single’s video.
“We wrote ‘Long Way Home’ as a reminder to remain grounded, in tune with yourself, and focused in the midst of the storm that is life,” the statement reads in part. “Oftentimes life will strike us like a tidal wave. Saying it can be hard to endure is an understatement. The lyrics promote positive state of mind, & self caring. We believe that, especially in the unknown, taking that extra moment to breathe, relax, and re-align with oneself is crucial to maintaining a positive mindset.”
The noted statement is illustrated as Glenn sings about being wary “of the whiskey sunrise,” “the blind man,” and encouraging people to heed the man’s words. The added note of taking “the long way home/Back to the place where I’m from” is, in its own way, a reminder that people need to keep their priorities in order. It echoes the comments in the statement. Keeping that in mind along with the equally accessible themes in the other noted songs’ lyrical content (and that of the rest of the album’s songs) the album’s lyrical content in whole leaves zero doubt about its importance to the record’s whole. When the record’s lyrical content is considered along with its companion musical content, that collective content in whole counters the record’s one concern to make the presentation in whole a still positive work from Faith & Scars.
Faith & Scars’ debut album Revolver is a record whose presentation hits the mark in nearly every way. That is due in part to its accessible musical arrangements. The arrangements will appeal widely to southern rock fans, those of classic and even more modern rock sounds. It couples with the record’s equally accessible lyrical content to make this record quite a positive presentation even despite the concern raised in the album’s sequencing. Keeping all of this in mind, Revolver is a work that is a near perfect first full-length recording from Faith & Scars. The record is available now.
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