Rebel Kind’s third full length Just For Fools is a thirteen song followup to 2014’s Today, featuring the reunion of singer-songwriter Autumn Wetli, and enduring rhythm section Shelley Salant and Amber Fellows. Just For Fools revisits some of the same themes of past records—romantic discontentment, mounting paranoia, a brief moment of confidence—with the distinct difference of choosing to uncrate the back-flipping demons in those feelings and give them a poke back. If Laurel Canyon and Today were for those who felt cursed, Just For Fools is a reclamation of control and the jubilant release of self-doubt from liars, gaslighters, and the rigmarole of daily life.
Just For Fools is a record of resolution through release, and letting go in this sense recalls a mix of eras and place: influences of UK’s Dolly Mixture and New Zealand label Flying Nun can be found throughout the record, with punkier “Billy Spoke His Mind” echoing ’77 NYC. “The Future” could sound like audio tracks sent between Pink Flag-era Wire and Tusk-era Fleetwood Mac, and it all culminates with “Kiss You,” transitioning from the uncertainty of a new crush to a swirling fevered dissolution in a blistering guitar duet.
There is something to the geographical placement of music scenes in Michigan—being mostly overlooked as a tour stop for punk bands in the U.S., this relative isolation in the Midwest makes it so bands like Rebel Kind exist as an extension of the everyday life of its members and often, no more than that. Part of survival in severe times is to just go on and do what you know, and Just For Fools distills this experience to its finest melodic form.