Falling in love can be as intoxicating, if not more so, than any substance you’ll find on this earth, but trying to hold onto that feeling when it’s no longer present in our lives can be as sobering as it gets. The American Revival personify this emotional rollercoaster in their new single “Whiskey Kisses,” an alt-country rocker that evenly distributes blistering harmonies alongside verses that push our hearts to the very limit. Over the last couple of months it’s been impossible to avoid the buzz that this Texas five piece has been developing in anticipation of their debut album’s release next year, and “Whiskey Kisses” presents us with a dynamic dimension of their persona that is steeped in folky prose that flirts hard with postmodern surrealism.
“On My Way” might have got a lot of us addicted to their rousing vocal harmonies, but this single elevates the stylization of The American Revival’s sound to an entirely different level of intimacy. The harmonies here are the star of the show, even more than the execution of the instrumentation that produces them. We enter the chorus with a nervous energy that is instantly dispelled under the command of the ascending melody, which keeps growing and growing until it’s practically spilling out of our speakers and into the world around us. As blinding as this is, the percussion continues to march on as if we’ve yet to reach the pinnacle of the climax. The trot of the drums is penetrated by the burn of the guitars and the grind of the keys, but none of the players ever try and steal the spotlight from one another – they’re a singular force of energy in this song.
The chemistry between the five men that make up The American Revival is unbelievably spot on in “Whiskey Kisses,” in my opinion even more so than what we were treated to with “On My Way,” and though no one is directly competing for our attention each individual gives a performance that could be described as thunderous and magnetizing. The mix is deliberately even and trained squarely on the kindling that comes alive when the band starts to get into perfect rhythm, which is something more common in eccentrically designed experimental tracks than it is in country singles. Lyrically we never lose sight of the narrative, even though there’s a ton of components here that could become slightly distracting if in a spacy state of mind.
Bittersweet and full of entrancing texture and rigidity, “Whiskey Kisses” feels like the start of something really big for its creators, who have already given us more than a few reasons to be excited for their impending full-length debut. Country fans will be particularly inclined towards tracks like this one, which unlike “On My Way” embraces the gravity of its earthy identity without anxiously clinging to familiar rock n’ roll framework. They’ve got a long way to go before it can be said that they’re going to take over the industry as we know it, but songs as emotional and muscular as “Whiskey Kisses” is demand a reaction from even the most discriminating of music critics among us.
INDEPENDENT EAR RECORD LABEL: http://www.independentear.com/artists/the-american-revival/