Rebelution brings “Peace of Mind” to Grand Rapids

On Jan. 10, Rebelution released Peace of Mind, which has been labeled as the band's best work to date. The release also saw two versions of the album: acoustic and dub. The unconventional format seemed to work, as Peace of Mind debuted at No. 13 on the Billboard Top 200 and was No. 4 on iTunes.

Though oftentimes labeled as a reggae band, the new album mixes genres.

"There's a bit of hip-hop, slight R&B, maybe a hint of metal," said Bassist Marley D. Williams. "We kind of implemented them into a few tracks to express what we listen to as individuals."

Not only does the Peace of Mind feature a new blend of genres, but established musicians as well. Lutan Fyah, Jacob Hemphill (SOJA), Zumbi (Zion-I) and John Popper (Blues Traveler) all made appearances on different tracks. Popper was recruited by Williams to play on the record after Rebelution opened for Blues Traveler at Red Rocks last summer.

"The idea came to me when I was listening to 'Purple Pills' by D12, and at the end of it the harmonica was so soulful, I thought it would be really cool to incorporate it into ‘Closer I Get.'"

The eccentricities of this album were made possible because Rebelution released Peace of Mind --as well as its previous album, Bright Side of Life -- under its own label, Controlled Substance Sound Labs. Williams says being under an independent label gives the band its best chance at success.

"We are the type of band that isn't looking to build themselves as a pop band with radio elements," Williams said. "We are looking to build ourselves as a grassroots band, where we gain true fans that stay with us for a long time instead of fans that are looking for what's hot.

"Our shows are meant to motivate people to treat themselves and the people around them better," he added. "It's a place where you can go and leave the show satisfied and stoked that there are other people that want to maintain that kind of attitude."