It’s a common occurrence to see bands lose members, and slowly wither away into irrelevance. Especially when that lost member was the frontman. Jamie’s Elsewhere faced this problem with the departure of Aaron Pauley, who left to become a permanent member in Of Mice & Men. The remaining members of JE were left to find another frontman to fill some pretty big shoes, and, in 2012, they recruited Justin Kyle to become lead vocalist of Jamie’s Elsewhere. So, with the release of “Rebel Revive,” will Jamie’s Elsewhere gradually fade into irrelevance?
I’d like to believe “Rebel Revive” will breathe life into this band again and spark a growth in their fan base. Losing someone like Aaron Pauley, with his extraordinary vocal style, could have crippled Jamie’s Elsewhere and caused them to disband. “Rebel Revive,” however, demonstrates Justin Kyle’s great talents, and the band’s new sense of purpose.
“Rebel Revive” begins with the track “Empty Eyes,” a strong start to the record featuring Garret Rapp of The Color Morale which proves to be an interesting addition to the track. Next, the song “Closure” opens with an impressive guitar-led intro. I note this because of the general lack of impressive musicianship in the metal core genre these days. While their overall sound is nothing innovative, Jamie’s Elsewhere does a fantastic job of creating an interesting listen for fans.
Lyrically, Justin Kyle brings some interesting topics to light. For example, the lyrics in the track “Sick Fiction.”
I’m just so sick of it all / Sick of the fiction in their words
I used to live by the messages hidden in the songs I heard / But I swear
I’ll never for a second abandon my honesty / I won’t act out a movie to be part of the music scene
The lyrics from this song represent the current state of the music industry, and what artists should strive to achieve. Other songs, like “Illusionist,” have a more personal feel to them describing a broken relationships and falling in love with someone without actually knowing them.
So here we are / you caught me off guard
And now I’m stuck in love / with everything you are
When you went off the deep end / I buried my head
I knew that I was stuck in love / With everything you’re not / I hope you know
It’s refreshing to hear the amount of catchy songs on Rebel Revive, and by that I mean all of them. Each track will leave you with a melodic chorus or impressively intricate guitar riff stuck in your head. There are also a substantial number of guest vocalists on the album, including: Tyler Carter (Issues), DEV, Garret Rapp (The Color Morale), and Phil Druyor (I Am Abomination/Nativ).
Jamie’s Elsewhere has managed to move on, and produce a great album, despite the loss of Aaron Pauley. I definitely recommend this album to fans of Crown the Empire, and We Came As Romans.