In a world of pop country radio saturation, bands like The Rev are a breath of fresh (albeit sometimes swampy) air. Pitching their tents in the deserts of Arizona, this new-to-the-scene outlaw country conglomerate is kicking the dust up and bringing the wild west back to country airwaves.
The Rev, an epithet for The Revival, is the brainchild of lead singer and creator Eric Meyers and their first single “El Diablo” succeeds in bringing one-horse towns and swinging-door saloons back to life.
Blended together from drummer Chris Chambers, bassist John June, and guitarist Frank Monaco, the bubbling acoustic guitar lines and steamy background instrumentals serve as the stage for the main act of this gripping spaghetti western single: namely, Meyers’ (and supporting vocalist Ciera Elizabeth’s) captivating tone and haunting lyrics.
As Meyers puts it, “El Diablo”, a first taste of The Rev’s upcoming debut release, is the product of thinking, writing, re-thinking, and re-writing. Originating as simple and “scratchy” songs in the mind of Meyers, his projects are quickly distributed to contributing members of The Rev for mending and personalization, and then often go unheard again by Meyers until the band reunites to practice.
“We all meet to rehearse and [then] the guys just kick in and play the part they’ve created—at this point, I have not heard a single note of what they have in mind….It just all comes together organically and somehow they bring the song to life in ways that are usually better and beyond what I had imagined. And that right there is what we record.”
Speaking to the invaluable history of country music’s outlaw past, Meyers attests that the single aspect that makes him appreciate the music of said era is the songwriting, plain and simple. In contrast he continues, without the allusion, without the metaphor, without a sonic journey, many songs and lyrics become predictable and monotonous, especially in today’s popular country music.
The Rev’s first single, a greasy, gritty creation that reincarnates the ghosts of country music’s past, hopes to cut through the monotony on country radio and bring that history back to life.
“That’s exactly why we call this project The Revival. We are driven to literally revive a kind of songwriting and style of play that has gotten lost along the way.”
Although “El Diablo” plays like The Rev has been performing outlaw country for decades, the project carries a story much deeper than the recordings on the surface. Having lived as a self-labeled drifter for the majority of his life (including a near run-in with death a time or two), Meyers describes this new project as a refreshing break from his chase for something larger.
“For some reason life has always been a constant search. I can’t say I always even knew what I was looking for, but I’ve had this endless gnawing at my soul to seek a different kind of life, one less ordinary, I suppose….[But] there’s a real downside to being a wanderer. The trial and error can be defeating. You can bang your head against the wall for a lot of years before [you] finally open yourself to the call that has probably been there all along….Best thing that can happen is to get so tired of fighting that you break a little and embrace what’s inside [of] you.”
While just under five minutes in length, “El Diablo” deliberately carries decades of history, both on a personal and musical level. In creating The Rev, Meyers is revitalizing himself, and subsequently revitalizing some of country music’s most traditional sounds in the process.
As Meyers puts it, “perhaps timing is everything.” For an outlaw country revival, the timing has never felt more right.
Stay tuned for a follow-up #FridayFind later in 2019 upon the release of The Rev’s debut full-length record.
Meanwhile, listen to the new single “El Diablo” on Spotify and access their social accounts below.