Gen­u­flect rises from Reveille’s ashes

Boston Herald - - Edge The Tonight! … - By DAVE WEDGE

Nearly a decade ago, cen­tral Mas­sachusetts­based band Reveille was on the cusp of star­dom, rid­ing the rap­metal wave onto the mas­sive stages of Wood­stock 1999 and Oz­zfest.

But la­bel pres­sure, in­dus­try drama and in­ter­nal con­flicts led the young band to call it quits in 2003.

Now ex- Reveille front­man Drew Si­mol­lardes is tak­ing an­other shot with his new band, Gen­u­flect, which opens a 50- city tour to­mor­row at the Mid­dle East in Cam­bridge. This time he’s bit more ma­ture and wise to the ways of the rock world.

‘‘ It was def­i­nitely sur­real,’’ Si­mol­lardes, 27, said of break­ing with Reveille as a teenager. ‘‘ I got used to it real fast. You’re on­stage in front of so many peo­ple. I re­ally didn’t know any­thing else. That was right out high school. It’s all knew.’’

Reveille, along with fel­low Mas­sachusetts bands 7th Rail Crew, Gangsta Bitch Bar­bie and East­cide, caught fire at the same time bands like Korn, Limp Bizkit Rage Against the Ma­chine were, well, all the rage. Formed in the town of Har­vard, Reveille toured with Pan­tera, Gods­mack and Seven­dust, built a huge fan base

moved to Los An­ge­les be­fore col­laps­ing un­der record com­pany pres­sure make pop- friendly mu­sic.

‘‘ We had a re­ally good run,’’ said Si­mol­lardes, speak­ing from his Waltham home. ‘‘ Our big­gest prob­lem was al­ways bat­tling with the peo­ple at the la­bel. They were kind of try­ing to mar­ket us to 12- year- old girls and it didn’t work. That was our big prob­lem with them.’’

The po­lit­i­cally charged rap- rock of the ’ 90s faded, but Si­mol­lardes thinks there are still pock­ets of fans ready to once again em­brace se­ri­ous hard rock. He and Reveille gui­tarist Greg Sul­li­van joined forces with ex- 7th Rail Crew drum­mer Jeff Lawn and bassist John Boudreau to form Gen­u­flect. ‘‘ We have some­what of a dif­fer­ent mis­sion this time around,’’ Si­mol­lardes said. ‘‘ The songs are much more on a po­lit­i­cal and so­cial level. More peo­ple care about who wins ‘ Amer­i­can Idol’ than we drop bombs on. You lis­ten to rap or rock and ev­ery­one’s talk­ing about go­ing to par­ties and cars. No one’s say­ing any­thing.’’

Gen­u­flect’s self- re­leased de­but, ‘‘ The End of the World,’’ is less rap and more metal than Reveille, but stays true to hard­core sound that gave Reveille its edge. Street- smart songs such as ‘‘ Po­tent’’ and ‘‘ Kill Shot’’ delve into so­ci­etal ills like crime and drugs with gen­uine pas­sion and ex­plo­sive­ness.

Could a rap- rock resur­gence be upon us? ‘‘ We’re look­ing to take things as far as we can,’’ Si­mol­lardes said. ‘‘ We’re not re­ally break main­stream. We’re just try­ing to get out there and find the peo­ple that re­ally want to hear what we have say.’’

— dwedge@ boston­her­ald. com

METAL MEN: Gen­u­flect brings po­lit­i­cally tinged rap- rock to the Hub.

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