The last ten years have seen a good share of bands from all over the world doing their damnedest to bring back the type of hard rawk that evokes the golden age of the Sunset Strip. The U.S. has a pretty good foothold with Steel Panther, even if their comedy shtick tends to get in the way of them being taken too seriously. Sweden has been the closest to capture that street-worthy L.A. Guns vibe, with Crashdiet and Hardcore Superstar cranking out both the tunes and attitude to match. But that could all change, because coming around the bend is Rebel Machine, a band of bearded Brazilians who have dropped an impressive DIY debut in Nothing Happens Overnight.
Firing on all cylinders right out of the gate, “Don’t Tell Me I’m Wrong” kicks things off with a righteous “kick the door down and let’s rock” feel, even throwing in a tambourine during the chorus for extra flair. Elsewhere, “Down the Road” keeps the tempo going with driving riffs and lyrics about packing a suitcase and chasing adventure; while the lush harmonies in “Waiting for You” would make the late Jani Lane proud. Later on, the band hits drop D tuning for “Run Away”, a mean shuffle that would make Pepper Keenan and Joe Perry nod their heads in approval. Marcelo Pereira’s voice is the perfect fit for these proceedings, a streetwise grit that can still belt high notes whenever it’s needed, and Murilo Bittencourt’s solos, particularly in “Down the Road”, are shredtastic and tasty. Seriously, Slash would be proud.
The guys might want to kill me for not comparing them to the bands they’ve cited as influences in the past, but honestly I don’t hear the Hellacopters or The Hives anywhere on this album. Whereas those bands are more of a garage-rock thing, Rebel Machine has that extra tightness and polish that could see them open for The Darkness or even Tesla, and hold their own with no problems.
Nothing Happens Overnight is tightly played, hella rockin’ stuff from a band who clearly took notes on what the big boys were doing, and came out of the gate swinging for the fences. If Rebel Machine manages to get signed and tour outside of their borders (I’m looking at you, Century Media), they’ll turn every club into a party. Raise your glasses and shake your asses, folks; the Brazilians are coming!