Words: Woody Woodworth


As the pandemic pushes on and most of the world starts to shake off the success of controlling the virus, the United States continues to falter with each and every step. Beyond the pandemic itself, the country has plunged into an injustice breeding ground with not even a blink of an eye from up top. As the now common narrative makes its rounds, so do the fighters. New York City’s own Rebelmatic have joined the conversation with a new album and a powerful message of fighting injustice with all you have.

Photo Credit: Jihad AbdulSabur

We put everything into this album: blood, sweat and tears

“We put everything into this album: blood, sweat and tears,” reflects vocalist Creature.“Me personally, it’s very therapeutic and cathartic. I write a lot of songs to help me get through.”Their new album Ghost in the Shadows is set to release August 28th via Red Right Recordings, after being pushed from an initial release of March. The album, produced by Daniel Wallace and Mark O’Connell of Taking Back Sunday doesn’t hold back, showcasing ideologies of injustices that have no place in the world. Coming from all sorts of backgrounds of music and life lead to a collaborative effort that hangs on the precipice of anthemic.

“A lot of our songs on the album come from us jamming,” shares Creature. “It’s a collaborative effort as far as creating music. The words and the concepts are mine but we put the cake together and I put the icing and cherry on top.”

This collaboration of born and bred New Yorkers [Creature, Alkatraz – Guitar, Karnage – Bass, Ramsey Jones – Drums] created a sound that is reminiscent of 90s punk; edgy without flaw while also not tip-toeing around. It’s a statement maker and being thrown around as “James Brown in a mosh pit,” allowed the four-piece to harness their own unique sound and blend it with classic punk energy and ideologies. To better accentuate the point, they teamed up with O’Connell and his brand new studio to bring about a new wave of epic collaboration.

The themes are always about principles of our life’s justice inequalities, but we are not going to neglect the fact that we have been through trauma. We’re trying to keep a certain light even within the darkness of what’s been going on

“We are the flagship artist. I think it’s a great way to start something,” reflects Creature. “We were the first artist to be produced by him and we were the first artist to sign with them. This is historical; it’s in the books. There’s no taking that away. It’s exciting.” 

Going along with the narrative of working with scene veterans, they also shot their music video for Blood and Gold under the direction of Steve Pedulla of Thursday. The team set up shop at Max Fish, a legendary skateboard club in Manhattan, a relatively common venue the band brings their energy to. While they work heavily in the punk scene, they are still able to hold their roots they share with bands such as Maafa, the 1865, Universe Ignore Her, Winter Wolf, and Fear is Dead.

A big aspect of the band is input from the fans to the point of holding off on recording new songs until they play them live and let their fans react. They love to perform and having live performances taken away forced them to adapt. The music video, shot and finished before the pandemic, encapsulates the pure energy and emotion of a Rebelmatic live show.

Lucky for us, we can expect them to put on live stream shows in time and maybe even dabble in social distancing shows, but for now, the focus is getting the record out and showing the world that they are here to stay. It’s a movement and it’s just getting started.

“In my bias, I think we made a really great record. It’s honest, it’s introspective, its funky, its punk, its hardcore, its orginal, and it’s old school but new at the same time,” shares Creature. “The themes are always about principles of our life’s justice inequalities, but we are not going to neglect the fact that we have been through trauma. We’re trying to keep a certain light even within the darkness of what’s been going on.”

Ghost in the Shadows is set to release August 28th via Red Right Recordings. Pre-order the record :  https://redrightrecordings.com/

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