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DLC Week of 4/6: The Revel and Skid Row

The Revel “L.E.S.” and Skid Row “The Gang’s All Here” are powerful reminders of how flat-out GREAT well-written and executed hard rock can be. You don’t wanna be caught sleeping on this new DLC debuting Thursday in the Rock Band Music Store!

Released in the fall of last year, The Gang’s All Here LP was a triumphant return to form for legendary metal band Skid Row – and the title track is a prime example of how potent the band can be when firing on all cylinders. Vocal powerhouse Erik Grönwall injected new life – and serious pipes – into New Jersey’s favorite hard-rockin’ warhorses when he joined in early ’22. The young Swede first caught Skid Row’s attention when he auditioned for a popular European talent show singing – you can’t make this stuff up – the band’s 1989 top-10 classic, “I Remember You.” Now armed with a fiery vocalist with unlimited ability, the quintet set about crafting some of their all-time most powerful work. “The Gang’s All Here” is a strutting, sinewy, dazzling showcase for all of Skid Row’s many strengths. Guitarists Dave “The Snake” Sabo and Scotti Hill settle into a dual-fretted groove rife with nimble, catchy riffage and squealing solos; Meanwhile, the thunderous groove of Rachel Bolan’s greasy bassline and percussive might of drummer Rob Hammersmith bring the “heavy” to “heavy metal.” Starting with Grönwall’s glass-breaking roar over a slippery bass figure, it doesn’t take long (seven seconds) before we get full-band potency, and “The Gang’s All Here” settles into a sort of “call and response” vocal/guitar ping-pong volley of a verse before one hell of a fist-in-the-air, sing-along chorus. This is a gloriously sleazy, riotous joy of a hard rock tour de force. How does an already iconic group find itself peaking creatively nearly four decades into its run? No clue, but Skid Row has managed precisely that. Hat’s off, fellas! At the bridge (2:16) we’re treated to a lightning-fast, tasteful six-string solo (with “guitarmonies” towards the end!) that ranks up there with the best ever tracked, before it’s a return to the absurdly catchy refrain. Then, for the outro, Grönwall hits some soaring high notes as the band somehow amps things up even more for the track’s crushing conclusion. This is hard-hitting rock and roll beating with a solid metal heart – get ready to listen (and play along with) this one over and over!

Beginning with a phase-heavy sawtooth synth drone, “L.E.S.” establishes a dance-floor vibe at the 4-second mark with a determinately funky bass line that is then joined by a muscular, hi-hat-rich, four-on-the-floor drumbeat. Sultry vocals add a carnal flavor to the opening verse before, at :44, the floodgates open wide with an arena-ready chorus that’s sure to get its hooks in you. The Revel – brothers Dean and Dillon D’Antuono (vocals/guitar and lead guitar/backing vocals, respectively), drummer Kyle Smith, and Stephen Mir on bass – are on fire throughout, with slashing six-string showmanship adding power to the infectious refrain, and the rhythm section keeping the whole thing locked down tight. The D’Atuono brothers bring something special to the party, as their singing styles intermesh perfectly, creating a prime example of the much-sought-after (and rarely achieved) phenomenon, “blood harmony,” that only close family members seem able to muster. The depth of the sibling’s musical connection is based in a lifetime of shared passion for excellent tunes. “Growing up we were always surrounded by great music,” says Dillon D’Antuono. “We would watch concert videos, listen to albums, and go to some great live performances. And one day we just started playing and putting the pieces together.” And lucky for all of us that they did! But back to “L.E.S.”: When the bridge arrives at 2:05, Dillon gets a chance to showcase his nimble fretwork before it’s back once again for a double-dose of the mighty chorus. The brief coda that begins at 3:05 leans into a more aggressive vibe before the song segues into a slow fade-out that will have you reaching for the Rewind tab. Dillon has said, “The Revel is an embodiment of Rock and Roll, and Rock and Roll is about being lively, noisy, and having a good time which is what revel means. It also is an embodiment of personalities as well making the name a perfect fit.” Can’t really summarize what’s going on with this powerful New Jersey-based alternative quartet any better than that. Get ready to embrace your new favorite raucous rockers!

The Revel “L.E.S.” and Skid Row “The Gang’s All Here” are available for $1.99 each.

  • The Revel – “L.E.S.”
  • Skid Row – “The Gang’s All Here”

VIDEO: Rock Band 4 DLC Week of 4/6: The Revel “L.E.S.” and Skid Row “The Gang’s All Here”



*Please note that this week’s DLC tracks will be available for purchase on Thursday, April 6th.