Beside the fact I know very little about the City of Santa Barbara, well short of the old soap opera named "Santa Barbara" (I was ill occasionally in the '80's, don't judge me), there was no hesitation to learn more about a band from that fair area. When "Winchester Rebels" entered my radar I thought it would behoove me (neat word huh) to learn more about Santa Barbara, or at least the "Winchester Rebels".
Since I live nowhere close to Santa Barbara (or California for that matter), I had to take the time and do some research on "Winchester Rebels". The fact that the only thing I really knew about the city was that old soap opera is, well quite sad and I intended to dig into the music world of the fair city. Although that research consisted of only one band "Winchester Rebels", I concluded that the music I heard from the aforementioned band was good enough.
I try to remain objective as I listen to the music of the band in question, it is important that my objectivity isn't influenced right away (its very hard too). When the first song I heard from the "Winchester Rebels", a song named "Private Angel" the ability to stay objective was as hard as a diamond. Almost immediately that song began to resonate in such a way that I really loved what I was hearing, and that stayed that way through each song I heard.
As I re-focused on the objective, I scribbled note after note about the ten songs I was listening too. The interesting thing was that the band maintained a level of energy in their songs that was impressive. Their music shows a polish that is only attainable by true professionals and really made me listen over and over.
This band almost feels like it should have been formed in the era of "grunge rock", as so many of those bands seem to have an incredible influence on them. Make no mistake, this is not a cover band, this is a band that will only accept their own fame. "Winchester Rebels" is definitely a band I want to hear more of (please, please).
The ten songs I listened to didn't have a song that I disliked and there were a few that I think are chart ready. Songs such as "Private Angel", "Down", and "Snake" have that quality that is as sharp as a razor blade and each of the songs has its own sound and feel. With strong lyrics and excellent vocals the songs have a reflective quality that isn't lost in a muddled mess of screaming guitars over unintelligible vocals. Mixing metal influences in with those "grunge" type influences would probably be considered to be sacrilege by many metal or grunge "purists" but they do it brilliantly.
As many of us can attest to, some bands have an affinity to have every song sound the same (despite their efforts not to) and I think that this band avoids such a trap masterfully. Every song I listened to had an interspersion of their musical influences, and it was really cool. When you can have the flavor of "Alice In Chains", "Stone Temple Pilots" and "Buckcherry" in one song and it not feel like a huge mess it's a nice accomplishment. In my opinion, this band musically has everything in its favor, vocally as well, and the structure of their songs is beyond the word "unbelievable".
"Winchester Rebels" is a band that can pick 'em up and put 'em down and I hope the rest of the world can hear them soon. If you can take in one of their shows, or buy a CD it will not disappoint. Oh, and to the band if you do hit it as big as you should, send me a backstage pass would you please (hopefully it would be for a future show and not a past show). This band is phenomenal. Bravo!!