The Revolters, championed by the esteemed Indiestanbul site and fronted by the charismatic Serhat Erman, are comparative veterans of the IstanbulDogs scene. Now returning from a lengthy sojourn, refresh your memory with their album/EP of a couple of years ago, particularly the electro-indie classic “Step By Step.” (originally on 'Monolith Cocktail')
This track, along with the grittier “Cruel Attention” and its attendant video, gained the band the attention of the more fashionable, street smart end of the Istanbul listening public, via its CD release on Topkapi Muzik/Universal, and plays on all the most important (read: trendy) radio shows.
The Revolters are understandably enough painted as Turkey’s answer to a Cronenberg-style fusion of Franz Ferdinand and the Arctic Monkeys, all sneery, snide lyrics delivered with a sneery, snide bite. I had seen the band live on a handful of occasions around Istanbul, during their first shows around the city - most notably at Peyote (on the European side) and Shaft (Asian side). They make a stunning, propulsive racket – tight, disciplined, non-communicative but still somehow loveable. Recently they have also undergone a Monkeys-ish image change, from indie new wave kids to rock n roll baiters of the complacent, complete with greased back hair and perfect cheekbones all round.
While the four to the floor heavy disco rhythms, early 80s synth lines and scabrous guitars are all in regimented, Devoed place, The Revs also bring something else not always found in their contemporaries – earworms. “Step By Step’s” A-ha-meets-Kraftwerk-in-the-club-toilets hook, once heard, will be rattling around your brain like a ballbearing in a collander until you drink it away to sleep.
In Turkey, all young men who have finished university need to attend military service for a minimum of six months around that time: The Revolters ascendance, much like Elvis Presley’s was forced into that mysterious, potentially soul-sucking, prematurely-ageing timewarp. Let’s hope, when they shortly return for round two, that the tunes, beats and edge remain.
By Sean Bw Parker