Few bands have cut a path through the New York music scene like Rebelmatic. A jagged edged path, rooted in the breakneck rhythm and tone of a forgotten New York. Frank 151 once called them “the sound of pre-gentrified New York,” which aptly describes their raw energy. Still, their sound crackles with a youthful zeal, every bit as uncompromising as their name suggests.
Their songs are anthems, meditations in struggle and breaking loose. Black rock with a purpose. Their critically acclaimed 2020 album Ghost In The Shadows, (produced by Taking Back Sunday’s Mark O’Connell) spawned the underground hits “Blood and Gold” and “Insult to Injury.” The album, a woven steel blend of NYHC, punk, metal and doses of funk. It’s a recipe that led Okay Africa to cite the band as one of the 10 black punk bands to watch, and the band to be described as “James Brown in a mosh pit.” HR, legendary front man of Bad Brains’ recently called them one of his favorite new bands. The Talking Heads,’ David Byrne mentioned them once after catching one of their legendary performances at Afropunk Festival. And in truth, their live sets every bit to blame for the band’s status as underground heroes.
After the pandemic brought the band’s monthly showcase at iconic skater/musician haven, Max Fish to a halt, finding their inner-punk, was hardly a chore. So, it wasn’t long before they began organizing secret shows, at the height of lockdown. These outdoor shows promoted social distancing, and allowed cooped up Brooklyn rockers a chance to cut loose safely. That the band’s music was the perfect soundtrack to conversations of social change dominating life under quarantine, was the cherry on top that resonated with fans new and old.
Becoming literally one of the only rock bands in business, lends itself to exposure. Their album and defiant antics, led to recognition from skater bible Thrasher, and Loudwire. This was followed by the band’s appearance on Vans TV. By summer of 2021, Angelo Moore of Fishbone tapped Rebelmatic to open for him in LA. Weeks later, Doc Martens asked the band to be featured in Dr. Martens Presents, for an episode focused on New York’s punk scene.
Now, more people than ever are lining up to watch this band’s on-stage rebellion turn into celebrations of life and unity in sound. Rebelmatic was founded by Creature, a Corona, Queens, native, and established indie hip-hop artist (having recorded with luminaries including the late MF DOOM, and Slug of Atmosphere). The band also features Karnage on bass, Alkatraz on guitar, and Ramsey Jones (GZA) on drums. The unit has shared the stage with pioneering acts across genres, from punk innovators, Death, and art rap legend Aesop Rock, to punk heroes Leftover Crack and hip-hop heavyweights, The Lox. Catch Rebelmatic this Fall on tour with stoner-metal heroes Weedeater, The Atomic Bitchwax and Joe Buck Yourself.