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text & photo by melancholico

They say a band that is highly influenced by the mighty oldies such as The Beatles and The Mamas and The Papas can never go wrong. You might sound different or have taken a different path that is more contemporary and in vogue, but when you carry the heart and soul of the great predecessors of music within, you will be awesome.

That is why Hightime Rebellion has become one of the most promising new bands in Indonesian music scene, and has gained early popularity since their first few appearances. They have successfully formulated a sound style that most newly formed bands of today wish for, which is friendly to all and yet high in quality. A sound that can be welcomed anywhere, but still too cool to be called mainstream or commercial.

Hightime Rebellion was formed in 2007, with a couple of new members added later on, and in a few years has gained a respectable reputation within the local indie music scene, as well as the local club music scene.

One of the grounds of their swift popularity is their choice in creating the type of music that was different than most of the sounds coming from the independent music department of Indonesia since forever. We have been lucky enough to welcome good new bands each year, but they are predominantly along the lines of alternative rock, electronic, or indie pop genres. It then feels almost like a holy gift has been bestowed upon us when a solid, skilful, great sounding, good looking, new band appeared out of nowhere; and stepped into the spotlight, with dance music.

But dance is just a very simple way of describing the type of music Hightime Rebellion creates. It is merely the beat, while the rest is filled with various styles of sounds. A mix of new wave, funk, acid jazz, indie pop, psychedelic, and even folk music, can be heard when listening closely to their songs. Added to that is the sultry female vocals, that sounds almost eerily yearning for attention, which she can easily get from that flavour of voice. Their live performances sound as good as their studio recorded tracks; and with your eyes shut, you can almost imagine watching a super dream band that consists of New Order, Blondie, Scissor Sisters, The Beach Boys, and The Doors. Sounds too good to be true? Maybe it is, but so is Hightime Rebellion.

Hightime Rebellion performing at “SUPERBAD!”, a monthly music event in Jakarta.

Download for free their latest single, “Sail”, via Whiteboard Journal:

And another single, “Crest of Mind”, via Deathrockstar: