Hailing from Santa Barbara, California, Rebelution has developed into the front runner for grassroots, independent and touring driven music groups representing the Cali-Reggae scene. Originally formed in 2004, members Eric Rachmany (vocals / guitar,) Rory Carey (keyboards,) Wesley Finley (drums,) and Marley D. Williams (bass) met in college, while residing in Isla Vista, a popular beachside community in Santa Barbara. It was there that the seeds to Rebelution’s future would be planted-- and would instill their kick back, “worry free” vibes, catchy refrain, and optimistic, inspiring, and engaging music that would leave their listeners with the sense that they have the power to make this world a better place.
Throughout 2004-05, Rebelution began to build momentum through consistently playing local shows and by independently releasing an EP. Before they knew it, they were one of the biggest drawing bands, not just in the reggae community, but in the entire area. “It definitely went to the next level when we literally had thousands of people watching us perform in Isla Vista on Friday nights,” shares Rachmany. The band’s upbeat, highly danceable grooves were charting a direct course for bigger and better things.
Rebelution released their first full-length album “Courage to Grow” in June 2007, which would become the breakthrough album for the band. The album was praised for its crafty melodies, socially-conscious lyrics, and savvy musicianship. Rebelution quickly became known for sticking strongly to the roots of vintage reggae sound, all while appealing not only to reggae listeners, but also to music fans of all genres.
“Courage to Grow” went on to garner mass downloads and radio play on monster stations such as San Francisco’s Live 105 where their single “Safe and Sound” was played on heavy rotation, with spins on San Diego’s 91X, and Los Angels’ KROQ. The album hit an all time high when it was selected as iTunes Editor’s Choice for Best Reggae Album of 2007. In addition, “Courage to Grow” has been in the top 10 iTunes Reggae album sales since its release two years ago. It remained in the Billboard Top Reggae Album Chart for 36 weeks, and peaked at # 4. Constant national and international touring has also served the band well.
Now, two years since their last album, Rebelution has given their fans their long-awaited, sophomore full-length album “Bright Side of Life.” On August 4, 2009 “Bright Side of Life” was officially released and dominated the iTunes charts, solidifying the #1 spot on iTunes in the reggae music genre, and the #3 spot for top albums downloaded in the United States in all genres of music. The album also debuted at #54 on the Billboard Top 200, #7 on the Billboard Indie Albums, and #1 on the Billboard Reggae charts. “Bright Side of Life” joined the likes of top artists such as Modest Mouse, Colbie Caillat, Whitney Houston, Black Eyed Peas, and Kings of Leon.
Recorded in their hometown of Santa Barbara at Santa Barbara Sound Design, Rebelution entered the studio the day after Depeche Mode completed their sessions for “Sounds of the Universe.” “Bright Side of Life” features 12 new signature tracks blending the band’s cohesive mix of reggae, rock, and hip-hop influences in a calliope awash of front man Eric Rachmany’s Santana-esque guitar flurries, Marley D. Williams’ solid and attacking bass lines, the psychedelic and tasteful piano, keyboard and Hammond b-3 stylist of Rory Carey, and the jazz rock fusion of Wesley Finley’s finesse drumming and percussion.
Of the new album, Rebelution shares, “After the positive response from fans and critics for ‘Courage to Grow’ and touring in support of it for the last few years, we are glad to finally reveal our new material to the fans who have waited so patiently. We’ve played many of the new songs live, but the recorded versions will have that ‘studio magic’ from all the time we’ve put into them.” The band notes that their second album will show their growth in maturity musically, with a more polished sound with flares of new styles that fans and future fans have yet to hear. “Bright Side of Life” also has an overall theme of encouragement. The band shares, “Though it was important for all of us in the band to be motivated to continue with what we do best, which is making music, we feel people in the world could use some encouragement in this time to stay motivated as well, which is what we drew a lot of inspiration for this album.”
The release of “Bright Side of Life” marks the first release under Rebelution’s newly founded record label 87 Music, in association with Controlled Substance Sound Labs and Silverback Music, the California based music collective, which is also home to artists Slightly Stoopid and Pepper, and their respective artist imprints.
For the rest of 2009 moving into 2010, Rebelution plans on touring to promote “Bright Side of Life” and to follow up their previous national efforts which include sold out shows at venues such as The House of Blues San Diego, Anaheim and Los Angeles as well as The Fillmore in San Francisco and more in Florida, Colorado, Texas, and South Carolina. They have already shared the stage with notable artists such as The Offspring, 311, Slightly Stoopid, Willie Nelson, Damian Marley, Bob Dylan, and Ludacris, with many more notable artists to come. Rebelution will also be recording an “iTunes Live Exclusive at the Palms in Las Vegas” feature later on this year.