MEMBERS & INSTRUMENTS:
Joel Arellano (vocals, guitar); Brent Sears (lead guitar); Robert Torres (bass guitar); Marcus McKiney (drums).
Let the subgenre flags fly! Americana, punk, rockabilly, folk, country, rootsy rock and blues, all tangled together on the flagpole; a little ragged but ready for another gusty day.
Whiskey Dick Rebellion (2009)
Let’s be real, here: Hemet isn’t always known as a prime destination for upcoming musical activity. But, when bands like The Whiskey Dick Rebellion start making a name for themselves that exceeds the reaches of the Ramona Expressway, it definitely puts an optimistic spin on the largely bedroom community. And this four-piece combo has been nabbing notice throughout the area via some unique tangents.
First off, there’s frontman Joel Arellano, playing up-tempo rockabilly- and Americana-inflected cuts with an acoustic guitar. And much like The Man in Black, Arellano’s bold vocal qualities lend themselves to further bolster the already forceful strums of the unamplified axe. Bassist Robert Torres notes that using such instrumentation was more a matter of necessity than choice.
“All we owned were acoustic guitars, but [we] had graduated to small practice amps and a bass when we began playing shows. The acoustic guitars just stuck and the electric came later,” he says.
Originally known as the Whiskey Dick Trio, the group was founded about four years ago between Arellano, guitarist Brent Sears and Torres. Arellano hailed from hardcore heavy metal band Chaos Device and Torres was with experimental rockers Girth. (For Sears and drummer Marcus McKiney, the Rebellion is their first band.)
Since then, the Rebellion’s been charging out of Hemet with its Cash-meets-Clash cuts, and has even played the (quite respectable) Ramona Bowl in Hemet. For ’10, the Rebellion aims to tour a bit and continue work on album number two, plus they’re appreciating the coverage they’re receiving. (“We would like to say it’s a pleasure to be featured in the same publication as ‘Ask a Mexican,’” says Torres.)
Add to the aforementioned a set list that seemingly blurs the lines of several genres and the Rebellion suddenly have an interesting vantage over similar acts that are more genre-focused. “We like to think we have something for everyone to enjoy without catering to one specific audience, especially if that audience is punk kids who shouldn’t be catered to anyway,” Torres says. “It’s never a good idea to give in to the whims and demands of rebellious punk youth.” Perhaps not even in Hemet.
The Whiskey Dick Rebellion at Angels Roadhouse, 32464 Dunlap Blvd., Yucaipa, (909) 795-0665; www.myspace.com/angelsroadhouse. Fri, Jan. 8. 8PM.