Hard-touring acts often seem to have sonic muscle memory, meaning they naturally bring their performance energy to record. With hundreds of out-of-state shows including dates with Built To Spill under his belt, singer-guitarist Chris Bock and his Boise band, Revolt Revolt, are one of those: This is a group facing tours in the day-to-day manner of band practice — something done hard, done often and executed in a spirit of evolution and improvement.
So despite an occasional studio pleasure (“Let’s add handclaps and UFO sounds!”), Revolt Revolt’s sophomore album oozes that live urgency and expands the band’s sound. These eight songs are a showcase for Bock’s noise-pop ethos: Atmosphere trumps intricacy; walls of howling, shimmering guitar triumph over melodic elegance.
Not to say this is straightforward garage-rock. Bock adds a sass-punk singing edge to “Nu Blud,” but he mostly blankets his vocals with echo effects. Revolt Revolt almost always exudes a dream-like quality. It can come during quiet moments of clean guitar, or from the lapping waves of distortion on a track like “Gold,” drifting until they explode on the sand.
These aren’t all easily accessible (or necessarily memorable) songs. Newcomers may bog down in Revolt Revolt’s commitment to dark, sometimes repetitive groove and vibe. And lyrics? Occasionally lost in that ever-present echo chamber. But none of this matters during the nuanced build-up and release of "Hell Has Its Roads." Mind-pounding drums, shape-shifting guitars and a restrained vocal delivery make it a haunting highlight — and a blueprint of Revolt Revolt at its best.