Scarlet Rebels add fun to the art of political dissent on See Through Blue

See Through Blue is a convincing album of hook-laden rebel rock from Welsh firebrands Scarlet Rebels

Scarlet Rebels: See Through Blue cover art
(Image: © Earache)

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Welsh firebrands Scarlet Rebels are only too happy to launch barbed lyrical attacks on the authors of austerity and the revellers of sleaze and corruption. This, then, is a band with a social conscience and sense of justice, something too lacking in bands too afraid to take a shot at such wide-open goals. 

Scarlet Rebels’ musical template is the sound of melodic classic rock. The boogie is strong in album opener I’m Alive and their ethics and integrity are firmly in place on These Days, an anthem of optimism and hope.

Alas, there are moments of formulaic construction: Leave A Light On seems to be specifically designed for lighters-aloft action, while Take It is too by-numbers to be convincing. 

All is not lost. The title track nails its political colours to the mast, while the air-punching I Can Sleep Now shows that there’s fun to be had in dissent.

Julian Marszalek

Julian Marszalek is the former Reviews Editor of The Blues Magazine. He has written about music for Music365, Yahoo! Music, The Quietus, The Guardian, NME and Shindig! among many others. As the Deputy Online News Editor at Xfm he revealed exclusively that Nick Cave’s second novel was on the way. During his two-decade career, he’s interviewed the likes of Keith Richards, Jimmy Page and Ozzy Osbourne, and has been ranted at by John Lydon. He’s also in the select group of music journalists to have actually got on with Lou Reed. Marszalek taught music journalism at Middlesex University and co-ran the genre-fluid Stow Festival in Walthamstow for six years.