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Revel 9 is :
DJ Pearlman : Guitar / Vocals
Mike Bontempi : Drums
Ray Kuhner : Bass
Matt Dower : Guitar
The Story - Long Island Powerhouse Gee Davey retools and re-emerges edgier than ever as Revel 9
Considering their loyal fan base, popularity among Northeast promoters and the success of their last indie album She Sells Smiles, the easiest thing for Long Island powerhouse Gee Davey to do would be to just go along for the ride and resist those impulses to evolve. But in 2010, band founder, guitarist and lead singer/songwriter DJ Pearlman hit a creative wall and knew it was time to retool and redefine the band's sound. With the addition of rhythm guitarist Matthew Dower, the trio of Pearlman, drummer Michael Bontempi and bassist Ray Kuhner became a foursome and emerged with a force unlike anything else on the suburban New York music scene. A name change was mandatory and Revel 9 makes its official debut with The Razorblade Diaries, an explosive six-song EP that captures the band's unapologetic darker, edgier, less poppy vibe.
Launching an immediate assault on the Northeastern hard rock scene, Revel 9 has quickly become a band to watch. Rocking hard before audiences of hundreds and even thousands since their relaunch in July, 2010, the band became a favorite among area clubs, promoters and fans who can't resist being part of the dynamic journey. They've blown fans away across the region, from their sold-out homecoming show in August, to performances at the legendary Crash Mansion in NY and Crocodile Rock in PA, to a record-setting attendance show at Six Flags Great Adventure's during its famed 'Fright Fest' concert series. Earlier in 2011, they performed at the annual Millennium Music Conference in Harrisburg, PA.
The sound may be different, but the fan embrace is similar to what Gee Davey experienced when the band got airplay on over 50 CMJ reporting stations, got spins on the Berlin-based podcast show 'Next Big Thing' and played major Long Island venues like Ollie's Point in Amityville, The Crazy Donkey, Mulcahy's, Broadway and The Zebra Club. Pearlman's pre-Davey history includes being part of Narcotic Gypsy, which once opened for Sepultura, Danzig and Ozzy on the Ozzfest Tour.
Playing a huge role in the sonic evolution of Gee Davey into Revel 9 is remixer/producer Pull, who has worked on records by everyone from Rob Thomas and Mick Jagger to Skillet and Shinedown. A longtime friend of Pearlman's, Pull liked some of Gee Davey's material but always pushed the singer to dig deeper. Pearlman played some of the songs he had been working on post She Sells Smiles for Pull, and through his guidance, helped fashion the new sound of Revel 9. The Razorblade Diaries was produced by Pull and Revel 9.
'I have to say it like this - Pull called us out on any BS every time,' says Pearlman. 'He knew we were capable of more and he was right. He'd say he liked a riff I had but would tell me things like, 'you need a verse here, a bridge there.' In the process, he taught me how to record like a pro musician and has helped us get to the creative level where we should have been all along. We were going for something very specific. We needed to capture the intensity of the hard rock bands that we love, but still be able to get the songs across to the listener, and we've done that. The material is good, there is no denying that at this point. Now it's only a matter of whether people like it or not, and we're OK with that.'
That confidence crackles through from the start of The Razorblade Diaries, which roughly chronicles the emotional upheaval that a typical twentysomething guy experiences when he meets the girl of his dreams, only to lose her and then find any way he can to win her back. With guitars blazing behind thoughtful heartfelt lyrics, he meets her at a rave in 'San Jose' and things go well until he becomes too co-dependent and she doesn't want to be with him anymore. 'Another Mistake' finds him becoming increasingly psychotic in his attempts to reverse her decision. He survives a leap from a window and instead of learning from his adventure, he suddenly thinks he is invincible on 'All I've Become.' On the remaining tracks, he's still reeling from this fight but he won't back down.
'Making The Razorblade Diaries was a blast from start to finish for us and every step of the way, we pushed ourselves to make it better,' says Pearlman, 'working every note and riff and lyric down to the last detail to make the best record we could. We're really excited about the new direction we're taking as Revel 9, but our enthusiasm isn't just hype. It's the most powerful and fulfilling album we could make and we know it. Soon everyone else will know it too.'
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