Sound — 7
Getting your song promoted via television or advertising now seems to be a bigger career booster than radio. So it's very likely that good things are in store for New York's Rev Theory, whose single Light It Up landed a cushy spot as WrestleMania XXIV's theme song. Regardless of what you think of WWE, having Vince McMahon give your song the seal of approval over thousands of other bands' material is a pretty big deal. Rev Theory's new album Light It Up is chock full of those classic, basic rock tracks that click with people, and it's very likely that, with a little help from the WWE, the band might not be under the radar much longer.
Light It Up doesn't necessarily deliver anything we haven' t heard before in the rock world, but there are quite a few testosterone-filled, single-worthy tracks that should connect with audiences. The title track definitely features an aggressive vibe, highlighted by some nice vocal layering and a solid solo. You may have already heard the rock radio favorite Hell Yeah, which is one of those tracks that will stay in your head for a good period of time. From the Slash-like guitar opening to the infectious chorus, it's the kind of song that was meant to be played for large audiences. And let's not forget that it begs to be a sing-along, between the Hey, hey, heys and the Give me a 'hell,' Give me a 'yeah'!
The album does surprise in the fact that there are more than a few songs that are, for lack of a better word, ballads. A few of them are actually completely stripped-down acoustic numbers that allow Rich Luzzi's vocals to be shows for what they are -- very strong, with or without guttural growls. The first ballad Broken Bones is a fairly typical ballad and doesn't really go anywhere new or interesting, but the piano-heavy You're The One delivers with it's exploding chorus that come out of nowhere.
Lyrics — 6
The record's lyrics bounce between being macho and over-the-top to heartfelt and sentimental, which is a rather strange combo. If Hell Yeah wasn't so catchy, the lyrics might make it unbearable. Luzzi sings, She's a ten hell bent I'm in heaven tonight; Six speed sexy playing out of my mind; One look I'm hooked for the runnin'. Just when you think they might not be capable of expressing emotions, they deliver You're The One, a song that deals with love, inner turmoil, you name it. It might be hard to buy the fact that they can go from one extreme to another, but at least there is much more than mere bravado.
Overall Impression — 7
For those who are seeking more than straightforward, riff-oriented rock songs, Rev Theory might seem like a band that is rehashing what's already been done. But there is something to be said for songs like Light It Up and Hell Yeah, which provoke almost a primal reaction in audiences. When we talk about the core songwriting, there are several songs with memorable melodies -- the kind that leave you singing them after your first listen. While that may not earn them raves from many critics, Rev Theory will still undoubtedly be embraced by those who are simply looking for a good, old fashioned rock tune.