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"Rebelution at Monterey Live"

It's easy to see why Santa Barbara reggae band Rebelution had their latest CD Courage to Grow become one of iTunes' most downloaded reggae albums during October of last year. Their "Attention Span" sounds like a cross between classic reggae artists Steel Pulse and Eek-a-Mouse, while "Feeling Alright" starts out with some acoustic fingerpickin' before becoming awash in reggae. In addition to their success on iTunes, the group has opened for reggae greats including Barrington Levy and Israel Vibration. [ST] - Monterey County Weekly

"Rebelution Sells Out The House of Blues"

Rebelution has come a long way in one year. The Santa Barbara-based reggae band, which last year played shows at venues such as modestly-attended dive bars in the Bay Area, headlined the House of Blues Sunset on Thursday the 15th.

Opening the show for Rebelution was State Radio, which features Chad Urmston, formerly of Dispatch, one of the most popular and loved indie bands of the last fifteen years. State Radio’s blend of passionate, politically-minded reggae rock was poignant and delivered with precision by Urmston, someone used to performing on larger stages than the HOB provided.

His former band Dispatch recently reformed for two sold-out benefit shows at Madison Square Garden, so the fact that Rebelution was billed above State Radio at this show is an indication that they are doing very well for themselves now. Rebelution has followed in the footsteps of fellow reggae revivalist bands Pepper (from Hawaii), The Expendables (from Santa Cruz), and Slightly Stoopid (from San Diego) to amass a throng of loving fans, and it was evident at the show Thursday.

Rebelution supported the Expendables at another sold-out HOB show back in November, and they received a good reaction then, but nothing close to how they were received this time around. The band, which only has one self-released full-length album, was treated to a crowd who absolutely loved each and every song they played, singing along with the band and in some cases, drowning out lead guitarist/vocalist Eric Rachmany.

This time, the band peppered in multiple new songs, which indicated growth in their songwriting department. While most of the songs on their full-length album ‘Courage to Grow’ have similar tempos and rhythms, the newer songs change that up a bit, with faster beats and tighter musicianship. They performed songs such as ‘Safe and Sound’, ‘Green to Black’, which argues for the legalization of marijuana, and came back out amid a deafening chant of ‘REBEL-UTION! REBEL-UTION!’ to close the show with ‘Feeling Alright’.

Rebelution is becoming a seasoned touring band, and the result of that is evident when witnessing their live show, which has a very rich, full sound accompanying the music. ‘Courage to Grow’ was a great success on the iTunes Reggae charts in 2007, and that helped gain the band more attention and a wider audience. Rebelution’s songs do not display the same punk spirit as Slightly Stoopid’s, nor do they break down into thrash metal rock outs, like the Expendables. Rebelution sticks with one kind of song: rhythmic, keyboard-driven, and relaxing. They are the perfect soundtrack to chilling on the beach with a six-pack.

If this show was any indication of their future, Rebelution is on the rise, and will only continue to amass success like their peers and friends in the Expendables. This is a good time for bands of this genre: the Expendables are getting bigger and bigger, and Slightly Stoopid recently played a sold-out show with the Expendables and Bad Brains at the newly-reopened Palladium in December. The fact that the crowd was so into Rebelution’s show this week indicates that they may be the next band of this type to break out. The crowd at the show loved every second of it, and will undoubtedly return when the band comes back into town for another night of So*Cal reggae. -

"Positively State Street"

"If you love Bob Marley, Sublime, and Jack Johnson and you're a regular on the State Street scene, then chances are you're already crazy about Rebelution. Their combination of reggae, hip-hop, and rock have made them a favorite of music lovers all over town." - The Santa Barbara Independent

"Local band's debut soars up iTunes reggae charts"

The hottest reggae band in town is hanging out at their Isla Vista studio, and there’s not a dreadlock, Rasta flag or puff of smoke in sight. For the members of Rebelution, playing reggae doesn’t need to involve any of the genre’s stereotypes. Merging a wide range of influences, Rebelution has created a sound they’ve dubbed “California reggae.”

“There are a lot of bad things going on in the world, so there’s plenty of room for positive messages,” keyboard player Rory Carey says. “Our goal is to make people feel good, like the music feels to us.”

Apprently, California reggae is hot. Stemming form a foundation of local support, Rebelution soared into iTunes Reggae top 10 (album downloads), amongst some lofty company. Lofty like Bob, Stephen and Damien Marley.

Speaking of Marleys, if your parents give you the first name “Marley,” there’s a fair chance reggae will be a big part of your life. Bassist Marley D. Williams has been listening to reggae since he was in the womb. “I was kind of born into it,” he says. As a UCSB student, Williams hooked up with guitarist-vocalist Eric Rachmany and drummer Wesley Finley in a vocal class. Seeing the potential for a band, they recruited Carey and guitarist-vocalist Matt Velasquez, a friend of Williams’ from Mendocino County. A year later, in 2005, the group established its identity as Rebelution. For two years, the quintet played local venues and traveled for shows in Hawaii and up and down the California coast. Last week, Velasquez left the band, but the parting was amicable.

“It ended on a sincerely good note,” Williams says. “It just wasn’t the best thing for him at this point in his life.”

In Isla Vista, mention the name Rebelution and you’d think you were referring to a championship sports team. Filled with pride for the hometown heroes, fans are fiercely loyal and ready to give a 100-percent dance effort wherever the band is performing.

For many of these fans, the passion was sparked at massive parties on the infamous Del Playa Drive, where Rebelution regularly played. Thousands showed up to some of these events, with people watching from rooftops and even hanging from trees.

Longtime resident Andy Harth says, “These guys brought out a reaction in I.V. that hasn’t been seen for quite a while.”

Perhaps the biggest reason for Rebelution’s success is their lyrics. Go to one of their shows, and you’ll find most of their fans singing along. Reflecting a timeless reggae formula, songs flow like poetic journeys, conveying messages that are basic, yet profound.

“Courage to Grow” is Rebelution’s debut album that at one point was No. 6 on the iTunes reggae chart. It’s title is especially poignant for this young band at a critical stage in its development. They’ve graduated from college--all UCSB alumni--and made a deeper commitment to the band by quitting their day jobs.

They recently spent a few weeks playing shows in Hawaii, where they’ve developed a faithful following.

“Doing this is a source of survival,” Finley says. “We have to take care of ourselves because we don’t have a manager or a major label to do that stuff for us.”

But there’s no shortage of optimism among this bunch.

“It’s gratifying to be sixth on iTunes right now,” Rachmany says. “Imagine what will happen when we play somewhere other than California and Hawaii.” - Santa Barbara News-Press

"A chill afternoon in Isla Vista"

"Perhaps the biggest hit of the day was Rebelution, a popular local outfit specializing in California reggae. They played a 45-minute set to a crowd of people dancing and singing to the catchy, often politically-charged verses." - Santa Barbara News-Press

"Locals Only - Featured Band profile"

If you’ve ever crawled down State Street or Del Playa Drive on a weekend, odds are you’ve found yourself drawn to the irresistible reggae beats of Rebelution. Since 2005, these boys have been composing their distinctive “California reggae” style by unifying roots, hip-hop, and rock influences like Don Carlos, Bob and Damian Marley, and Sublime with their diverse Californian backgrounds. What began as an Isla Vista garage band has since exploded into extensive tour schedules and sold-out shows in Hawai‘i, as well as up and down the West Coast. With their first full-length CD, Courage to Grow, Eric Rachmany, Marley Williams, Wesley Finley, and Rory Carey have secured a spot as one of the top 10 downloaded reggae CDs on iTunes, and gained an international fan base that just keeps growing, thanks to songs like “Safe and Sound” and “Attention Span.”

It’s shared the stage with the likes of E-40, Pepper, The Pharcyde, and Yellowman, but the band knows it owes everything to the dynamic Isla Vista shows that spawned its success. As it watches its star rise, and after being courted by record companies and embarking on one tour after the other, Rebelution makes time to bring it back to where it all began, with frequent ocean-side Del Playa Drive shows. “We started in I.V., and a lot of bands start to get famous and don’t get to do the free, all-ages shows. But we’re stoked because it’s so raw; it’s real. We love our fans and we’re showing appreciation,” said bassist Williams. - The Santa Barbara Independent

"Sound and Fury"

Santa Barbara music lovers cheer: Rebelution’s first full-length album has arrived. This month, the Santa Barbara-based band hands over the reggae/hip-hop/rock sound that has captured the upbeat energy fans have long been jamming to at live shows. And with the band’s compass pointed to the bold independence of the soul, now the group’s energy is organized. Rebelution’s new release embraces the love jam, “Ordinary Girl,” and preserves the fan favorite sing-a-longs, “Safe and Sound” and “Attention Span.” With loyal groupies at their back, Rebelution’s sound is confident. The result is the delivery of a lion-hearted package tied with a rebellious reggae-rock bow. - The Santa Barbara Independent


EP: Rebelution - Rebelution
LP: Rebelution - Courage to Grow
LP: Rebelution - Bright Side of Life



Hailing from Santa Barbara, California, Rebelution has become one of the most watched, highly praised, and “must know” reggae bands to hit the music scene in years. Originally formed in 2004, members Eric Rachmany (vocals / guitar,) Rory Carey (keyboards,) Wesley Finley (drums,) and Marley D. Williams (bass) met in college, while residing in Isla Vista, a popular beachside community in Santa Barbara. It was there that the seeds to Rebelution’s successful future would be planted-- and would instill their kick back, “worry free” vibes, catchy refrain, and optimistic, inspiring, and engaging music that would leave their listeners with the sense that they have the power to make this world a better place.

Throughout 2004-05, Rebelution began to build momentum through consistently playing local shows and by independently releasing an EP. Before they knew it, they were one of the biggest drawing bands, not just in the reggae genre, but in the entire area. “It definitely went to the next level when we literally had thousands of people watching us perform in Isla Vista on Friday nights,” shares Rachmany. The band’s upbeat, highly danceable grooves were charting a direct course for bigger and better things.

Rebelution released their first full-length album “Courage to Grow” in June 2007, which would become the breakthrough album for the band. The album was praised for its crafty melodies, socially-conscious lyrics, and savvy musicianship. Rebelution quickly became known for sticking strongly to the roots of vintage reggae sound, all while appealing not only to reggae listeners, but also to music fans of all genres.

“Courage to Grow” went on to garner mass downloads and radio play on monster stations such as San Francisco’s Live 105 where their single “Safe and Sound” was played on heavy rotation, with spins on San Diego’s 91X, and Los Angels’ KROQ. The album hit an all time high when it was selected as iTunes Editor’s Choice for Best Reggae Album of 2007. In addition, “Courage to Grow” has been in the top 10 iTunes Reggae album sales since its release two years ago. It remained in the Billboard Top Reggae Album Chart for 36 weeks, and peaked at 4.

Now, two years since their last album, Rebelution is ready to give their fans their long-awaited, sophomore full-length album “Bright Side of Life” on August 4, 2009. Recorded in their home town of Santa Barbara at Santa Barbara Sound Design, entering the same studio the day after Depeche Mode completed their sessions for Sounds Of The Universe. “Bright Side of Life” features 12 new signature tracks blending the band’s cohesive mix of reggae, rock, and hip-hop influences in a calliope awash of front man Eric Rachmany’s Santana-esque guitar flurries, Marley D. Williams’ solid and attacking bass lines, the psychedelic and tasteful piano, keyboard and Hammond b-3 stylist of Rory Carey, and the jazz rock fusion of Wesley Finley’s finesse drumming and percussion.

Of the new album, Rebelution shares, “After the positive response from fans and critics for ‘Courage to Grow’ and touring in support of it for the last few years, we are glad to finally reveal our new material to the fans who have waited so patiently. We’ve played many of the new songs live, but the recorded versions will have that ‘studio magic’ from all the time we’ve put into them.” The band notes that their second album will show their growth in maturity musically, with a more polished sound with flares of new styles that fans and future fans have yet to hear. “Bright Side of Life” also has an overall theme of encouragement. The band shares, “Though it was important for all of us in the band to be motivated to continue with what we do best, which is making music, we feel people in the world could use some encouragement in this time to stay motivated as well, which is what we drew a lot of inspiration for this album.”

The release of “Bright Side of Life” marks the first release under Rebelution’s newly founded record label 87 Music, in association with Controlled Substance Sound Labs, the California based music collective, which is also home to artists Slightly Stoopid and Pepper, and their respective artist imprints.