Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: The Refusers “Disobey”

In today’s world, there are many things out there that make most of us hide our heads in the sand as a way of avoiding the truth. Sometimes, there are things that take place in the world that we should be paying attention to more than we do. And sometimes, there are those who try to make it their mission in life to try to get people to pay attention even if the ones listening don’t really want to. One such band that is currently making very powerful music that is written in a way to grab your attention is the group The Refusers

The Refusers are a trio of musicians from Washington State. The band is made up of singer-songwriter (and former Wall Street insider) Michael Belkin (guitar, vocals), Steve Newton (bass, vocals) and Joe Doria (Hammond organ, piano). Together, Belkin and his bandmates create songs that may not get the people to pay attention, but at least it’s a good start.

The band known as The Refusers already created and released one album called Wake Up America. But with all that has taken place since the band put out that album, they created yet another album of songs. The new 2018 release from The Refusers is called Disobey.

Disobey from The Refusers begins with the track “Playing with Fire”. The track begins with a solid Rock and Roll feel to the music that will bring to mind the Rock and Roll feel of power trios such as Cream. The Classic Rock feel of the track seems to bring to mind the songs from the sixties when a lot of bands and individuals were creating songs that made people sit up and pay attention. “Playing with Fire’s” lyrical content has to do with the dangerous things that people do that have negative consequences for everyone involved. The track’s overall musical approach feels just right for today’s straight-out Rock and Roll radio formats.

While the first track feels rather timeless as far as the Rock and Roll approach in the music, the next track on the release called “Why Do They Lie” takes the trio’s music in a more current sound and direction. Lying somewhere between the Rock and Roll found during the nineties and the Alternative Rock from that same time period, “Why Do They Lie” deals with people in government who say one thing and then say another at another time. The track’s lyrical content has to do with the subject matter of the drug industry trying to cover up the bad things that happen with the drugs being pushed on the public as part of the medical industry is concerned. Like many of the songs written by The Refusers, “Why Do They Lie” is a track that truly will make you think.

The new release from The Refusers continues with the title track of the album. “Disobey” again finds the band creating a track with a strong Classic Rock feel. This time, the band seems to be channeling the sound and style of the band called AC/DC. Just like that band from Australia, The Refusers create a track that features a Hard Rock delivery. The lyrics of this song deal with not agreeing with things you know are wrong. And with that, you “disobey” when they tell you to do something. Just like with “Playing with Fire” before it, “Disobey” would feel right at home on the radio.

“Eruption” is a song that takes the band’s music and gives more of a groove than the previous tracks. The groove that goes through the song helps give the music of the track a lot of power. That powerful musical delivery goes right along with the powerful lyrics about the fact that eventually, people are going to get tired of the same old things that politicians in office do while ignoring the real reasons they were elected in the first place.

When listening to the new album of Disobey from The Refusers, the band has chosen to create many of the songs on the release with a certain feel and style. Even though they do incorporate different influences in each of the tracks, many of the songs on the release contain a delivery that makes the songs feel as if they belong together as an album. With the track of “My Baby Loves Rock and Roll,” however, the band changes musical directions. With this track, the band takes their music in the same direction that Bob Seger took for his song “Old Time Rock and Roll”. The piano-driven track brings to mind much the same feeling from Seger’s track from years before. The different feel to this track gives the listener another perspective on the music from The Refusers.

The next track of the album is entitled “Fake News”. This is one of the more political tracks on the newest release from The Refusers. It also proves that a good deal of the songs created by the band it rather topical. While there are several ways to write a song entitled “Fake News,” Michael Belkin and the rest of the band took a perspective on this song that many may not have. The lyrics to the song have to do with the fact that there are thousands and thousands of media outlets out there today but only a few ownerships to those radio stations, television stations, newspapers, publications and online sources. And with as many media outlets out there, it’s hard to ensure what is being broadcast, printed or published online is actually factual. “Fake News” is easily one of the more political songs on the release.

Throughout the nine songs that make up Disobey from The Refusers, the band makes its way through many different styles of music and many different topics to sing about. While the band has created more than one album, this release seems to be a little more low-key as far as the political flavor that runs through it than on the previous material released by the group. Even with the tracks that are definitely politically charged, the band seems to have decided to go in a direction that feels a lot more listener-friendly than previous material. With the more listener-friendly delivery on their music for this release, Disobey from The Refusers has created a release that allows for the band’s message to get out without sounding very preachy.

To check out the music of The Refusers, click on the link for the song “Playing with Fire“. 









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