The Refusers is releasing its rock album, ‘Freedom Fighters.’

Band: The Refusers; Michael Belkin: vocals and guitars; Steve Newton: bass and background vocals; Joe Doria: Hammond organ and piano; and Brendan Hill: drums

Album: ‘Freedom Fighters’

One of the most compelling and vital aspects of music is its distinct ability to allow singers songwriters and instrumentalists to share their concerns about their society’s ongoing social injustices. That ability to comment on their bureaucratic beliefs on a national platform is a major driving force for the members of the Seattle-based band, The Refusers, whose musicians are speaking out against the divisive political discourse that keeps spinning out of control. The group is speaking out against America’s institutional status quo on its upcoming 10-track rock album, ‘Freedom Fighters,’ which is set to be release this Friday, June 26.

The group is led by its founder, Michael Belkin, who has a fiece determination to bring attention to the corrupt and divisive nature of the country’s current national government. The former Wall Street insider, who now serves as the singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer of The Refusers, is refusing to accept the troubling way things currently are, so he’s fighting back through his music. The group’s latest record emphasizes the uplifting message that society often fail to embrace: that that love is always going to shine, even in desperate times.

‘Freedom Fighter’ begins with its alluring, mid-tempo rock single, ‘Love Never Fails,’ on which the band powerfully voices its concerns about America’s current state of social injustices. Drawing inspiration from such classic musicians as The Beatles and Marvin Gaye, Belkin powerfully croons meaningful lyrics that chronicle how love will always shine. Also noting that true love is always strong and defeats hate, the vocalist leads an epic call to refuse to accept the unbalanced way things currently are, and fight back against corrupt officials.

‘Love Never Fails,’ which is The Refusers’ uplifting anthem for modern American society, is followed by ‘Freedom Fighter’s sophomore electronic rock track, ‘Shame On You.’ The fiery blues-rock entry criticizes modern society’s false prosperity, and the glaring disparity between the wealthy and the poor. Belkin points out that many people do whatever it takes to become rich, but their sneaky methods often leave them feeling callous towards the plight of others. The singer admits that since prosperity is fragile and can often change, the measure many people take to maintain their wealth can lead to hideous extremes.

Another enticing song on The Refusers’ latest record is its sixth tune, ‘Clown Show,’ which features pulsating, intricate guitar riffs and drums beats that are the real noteworthy elements. Belkin encourages his listeners to take responsibility for their actions, and not mindlessly follow the current technological trends that are driving society. He also notes that many government leaders are hurting the population by encouraging people to mindlessly do what they’re told.

‘Freedom Fighter’ begins to wind down with its penultimate entry, ‘My Body My Choice,’ during which the band’s singer declares that no one can silence other people’s voices, and everyone has the right to choose what they do with their lives. Set against a captivating blend of soul guitar riffs and drum beats, Belkin passionately expresses his belief that all citizens have the right to reject injustice, and the leaders who want to enforce that inequality.

‘My Body My Choice’ then transitions into the last song on The Refusers’ new album, ‘Troublemaker,’ which features a fun country twang. While distinctly different from many of its predecessors, in terms of beat and instrumentation, the final track is similar in theme to ‘Clown Show.’ The two tunes warn about the dangers of society, particularly technology, subtly influencing people not to make their own decisions. But Belkin refuses to mindlessly follow the crowd, and declares that he’s the title troublemaker who’s trying to go against the status quo, and correct the wrongs in society.

Belkin is a courageous musician who proves he’s not afraid to speak his fiery truth about not approving of the corrupt injustices that are presently being committed by leaders in power across America. The current indie rocker and former Wall Street worker has fearlessly expressed his displeasure with the country’s modern divisive political discourse with his band’s latest record, which emphasizes the uplifting message that society often fails to embrace: that that love is always going to shine, even in desperate times.

For more information on The Refusers, visit the band’s official website, as well as its Facebook, Twitter and Spotify pages.

By Karen Benardello

As a graduate of LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic, Karen Benardello serves as ShockYa's Senior Movies & Television Editor. Her duties include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, and scribing movie, television and music reviews and news articles. As a New York City-area based journalist, she's a member of the guilds, New York Film Critics Online and the Women Film Critics Circle.

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