Rebelution is good, clean fun -- only with bud



If the feel-good sounds of Rebelution are any indication, life in Santa Barbara, California, must be just peachy.

I can see it now: waves lapping the beach, palm trees swaying in the ocean breeze. Some dude wearing neon everything, rollerblading while riffing on an electric guitar. Everything you need now has been right in front of your eyes, sings Eric Rachmany in "Heart Like a Lion." The only thing keeping me from true happiness is -- here comes the twist -- myself.

Wait, when did this turn into church?

Despite -- or perhaps because of -- the quartet's specialty in making the kind of reggae you could listen to with your pastor without having an awkward conversation about how drugs are bad, Rebelution's ascent to fame has been meteoric. Their 2009 album, Bright Side of Life, which has spent the last 75 weeks on the Billboard reggae albums chart, is still the fourth top-selling reggae album in the land, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Of course, with such safe lyrics, why wouldn't they be a hit? The only bridge they burn is one with evil people: Stop evil people and end their beliefs. (We all know evil people download their music illegally anyway.)

There's no doubting the group's technical expertise. Wesley Finley's drumming is rock-steady, and the bass, played by former choirboy Marley D. Williams, is as engaging as you can expect from white-boy reggae. Rory Carey rounds out the sound on the keyboards, and Rachmany's vocals are smooth -- if not a little too smooth.

Rebelution's "Winter Greens Tour" will make a stop at the Bottleneck in Lawrence on January 30. They'll be joined by fellow reggae-rock group Iration and funk crew Orgone. Since we're so damn loving, Wayward Blog is giving away tickets to a night filled with bobbing heads and patchouli stank. Leave a comment for a chance to win. Besides, being high in public is more fun, right?

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