Who: The Rebel Spell, with Cambridge, Fraser
When: Friday, Jan. 9, 9:30 p.m.
Ah, a throwback to Punk Night.
Rejoice, lovers of this genre — this Friday, you can get
your punk fill with a performance by Cambridge, Fraser, and, of course, The
Rebel Spell, which features Todd Serious on vocals, Erin on guitar, Chris on
bass and Stepha on drums. This quartet has been making music together for just
over five years, bringing their old school-style ’80s street punk sound to the
streets of East Van and beyond.
This is punk, true to form: angry and subversive, and
unapologetically anarchist. None of that glazed-over, mainstream pop-punk sound
here, thank you very much. Instead, their punk helps articulate their message
through an energetic form.
“I was a little kid in the ’80s, and even now, I didn’t know
what street punk was until people started saying that’s what we sounded like,”
Serious admitted. “…I have two genres: good and bad, and I try not to draw any
more lines than that. Most good bands really transcend genre, anyways.”
Their name is also remarkably similar to the popular
The Rebel Sell
Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter, though Serious said he actually hasn’t gotten
around to reading it yet.
“I’m pretty sure that we came out first,” he said with a laugh,
adding that their name actually comes from an old song by Mano Negra.
Chris, Stepha and Serious had all known one another for years.
But as soon as Serious made the move to Vancouver, he put the wheels in motion
to start a band.
“Chris was my roommate at the time and he kept asking me to
play bass, and I kept telling him no,” he recalled. While Chris had played in
bands before, he didn’t exactly have the best track record with follow-through.
“I couldn’t find anybody else, so finally, I let him.”
Serious was well aware of how much time and effort artists need
to invest to make a band a success, and he didn’t want to take any unnecessary
risks. But somehow, they managed to find a group of four like-minded musicians
who have managed to make it work for almost five years.
After listening to some of The Rebel Spell’s lyrics, which are
by and large written by Serious, it’s really not much of a surprise to hear
that he is strongly influenced “by more things that bother me.”