sound check

February 17th, 2011 |
By Michael Swanger

Rev Theory


Interscope Records

If you’re a fan of explicit hard rock and heavy metal, then you can appreciate the defiant middle finger Rev Theory waves to society during the opening song “Dead In A Grave” from its latest album “Justice.” Lead singer Rich Luzzi belts out lines like “don’t give a fuck if I burn away” and “I’m still breathing, fuck your sympathy” as his band mates rage with balls-to-the-wall energy and rebellion. The song sets the tone for what follows on songs like “Justice,” “Hangman,” “The Fire” and “Loaded Gun,” as Rev Theory captures the energy of its live show in the studio with the help of producer Terry Date (Pantera, Slipknot, Soundgarden) to produce its third, hard-hitting album based on the theme of challenging the injustices of life through strength and aggression. CV

(Rev Theory headlines the “Monster Outbreak Tour” at People’s Court on Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. $10.33.)


Southern Reign

“Homesick and Lonesome”

Independent release

Hybrid forms of bluegrass (jamgrass, newgrass, etc.) have become trendy, but nothing compares to the genre’s traditional high-lonesome sound, as I’m reminded after listening to Southern Reign’s fifth album, “Homesick and Lonesome.” Hailing from the East Side of Des Moines (the side for singing bluegrass from the heart, they say), Southern Reign has a penchant for picking tunes in the spirit of Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley and Jimmy Martin. The band includes married couple Cindie Beem (guitar) and Larry Beem (banjo), as well as Mark Hargrove (mandolin) and Tabatha Hood (bass), all of whom share vocal duties on the album, which includes a guest appearance by Iowa native and Nashville slack key guitarist Randy Kohrs. “Coal Black Gold” and covers of Hank Williams (“Homesick”) and Lester Flatt (“Sleep With One Eye Open”) are among the album’s standout tracks. CV

(Southern Reign performs Feb. 18-20 at the SPBGMA Festival at the Newton Motor Inn.)