Being a metal reviewer is fun. I get to discover new gems I probably wouldn’t have otherwise heard, I get to think of creative ways to make fun of bad albums, and I get to work with an amazing and talented group of fellow writers whose reviews and recommendations provide an abundance of new, quality metal to check out. But like all jobs, this one has a dark side. And just like the Ruby Tuesday’s waiter who has to clean that child’s diarrhea splatter off the bathroom wall at the end of his Saturday night shift, the time eventually comes that we, too, must roll up our sleeves, pinch our noses, and dive right into the shit. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: The Glorious Rebellion’s Euphoric.
Let me get the two positives out of the way first. One, this record is only 19 minutes long. Two, Euphoric made me realize science has advanced much further than I thought, because this sounds like it was created by someone who snuck into my bedroom while I was sleeping, probed my brain using hitherto unknown technology, and used this data to concoct an album of everything I don’t like in metal. Though this Orlando trio dubs themselves ‘noise rock,’ in reality this debut full-length sounds more like a piece of southern-fried, groovy nu metal with all the mansweat and swagger of Triple H. In fact, that name provides a fitting acronym for the three closest points of comparison here: Hellyeah, Helmet, and hell on fucking Earth.
Where to start? Euphoric’s production is so bad it literally made me wince – the DR4 sounds like DR2, the guitar tone is overwhelmingly boomy, and the mix blasts away any nuance with the force of a hydrogen bomb. Averaging just over three minutes, these six tracks are typically comprised of two or three buttheadedly simple, repetitive riffs that begin to sound recycled by third track “Benaquyl.” Vocals consist of raspy yells with lots of ‘tude, occasionally lapsing into gravel-y, post-grunge singing during the attempted hooks. Lyrically, vocalist Billy Myers delivers gems like “My cock won’t suck itself!” from penultimate track “The Dirtiest Dream Jobs,” repeats menial phrases like “Can’t sell out if we don’t buy in!,” and concludes the whole mess with screams of “I’m going straight to hell!” from the oh-so-cleverly-titled closer “Bitches Hate Misogyny.”
I guess Rebellion are attempting to take a sludgy, noisy base and inject some accessibility for the Rockstar-fueled masses at the open-air summer festivals they’ll no doubt be frequenting in a few months. Problem is, they fail. These barre-chord sounding riffs – like those in opener “It’s a Sucker’s Game, Kid” – are some of the most blasé I’ve ever heard, the ‘songwriting’ is sheer ABAB paint-by-numbers, and the hooks make Limp Bizkit look like Led Zeppelin. Sure, there’s a few decent moments – the aforementioned opener features a passable chorus riff, and the refrain of “Emmett Brown Has Never Met a Scott That Wasn’t Great” shows promise with its initial melody and ‘Ooh-oh’ backing vocals before it prematurely truncates itself – but this ultimately makes the album feel like a Big Mac that got chewed up by a Rottweiler and left in a rain-soaked alley. At one point, you can tell it would have made a passable meal, but in its current state you just want to walk away and try not to gag.
If I’m really reaching, the chuggy riffing and lunkheaded lyrics combined with Myers’ totally earnest, Southern swagga inflection do give Euphoric a bit of an amusing ‘so bad it’s good’ quality. And – though it’s not difficult for music this simple – the group can at least play their instruments competently. But overall, the record is appalling from both a musical and thematic standpoint, an obnoxious and superficial attempt at cutting through the bullshit that reminds us that sometimes, the truth is better left obscured. This is a mouth ripped apart by stale Captain Crunch, an aural buttfucking without the lubricant, the sound of dumbbells being thrown around the weight room by muscle-bound men guzzling from gallon water jugs. I’m sure there’s an audience for this somewhere, and if Rebellion finds success from those fans, more power to them. But I can’t imagine myself – or any of the patrons of this site – ever wanting to count themselves among that crowd.