The Revelators

We Told You Not to Cross Us

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We Told You Not to Cross Us Review

by Mark Deming

If ever there was an album that ought to have "Light Fuse, Run Away" printed on the label, it's We Told You Not to Cross Us, the debut long-player from Columbia, MO's the Revelators. A power trio with better things to do than look for a bass player, hard-wailing vocalist Jeremiah, guitar mangler Schooley, and drum punisher Mark come roaring out of the box with "Ain't Got a Thing," a raging slice of blues-punk that sounds like an unholy cross between Howlin' Wolf and Black Flag, and the album never lets up for the next half hour. If the band occasionally downshifts into lower gear, it's usually a matter of going from 110 mph to 95 (like on the swaggering "Just Fine" or the ill-tempered "Ain't That Hatin' You Baby"), and on the album's one bona fide slow song, "Hillbilly Wolf," the boys show that they can reign themselves in without losing a drop of their intensity. But while these guys run fast and hit hard enough to impress the most jaded punk purist, the deep blues and country influences of their Southern heritage are never far from the forefront, and while "These Callused Hands" never got them a gig at Farm Aid, as an anthem for the independent farmer I'll take it over anything John Mellencamp ever put on plastic (The Revelators are the only punk band I know of who scheduled their tours around the planting and harvesting seasons on their family's farms -- really!). We Told You Not to Cross Us makes it clear the Revelators are that rare example of a "roots rock" band whose roots run deep and whose rock is hard, fast, and frantic. Hear it and be amazed.

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