Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Radio Reds - Let It Show

This review was originally published on DyingScene. Some alterations have been made from the original (mostly toward the end).

The Radio Reds are an indie / post-punk band hailing from Greensboro, NC. Their music can sometimes be rather bleak sounding, while at other times the jams are kicked out with an upbeat intensity. Evoking the Replacements as equally as Sunny Day Real Estate, the Radio Reds show off their songwriting chops and ability to rip off their musical forefathers without actually sounding exactly like them on their newest EP, aptly titled Let It Show.

Lyrically, the Radio Reds take somewhat of a downer approach, the general theme of the songs are centered on feeling disconnected from their generation, moving on from the past, realizing that life is fleeting, and getting older. While most bands sing about these topics with a jaded cynicism, lead singer and lyricist Stephen Kent still has his shimmering ray of light at the end of the tunnel, even going as far as to proclaim that “everything is alright” and “[we] will be just fine.”

The music on the EP complements the lyrics well, conjuring up the same feelings that the lyrics aim for, fitting like a properly-sized glove. Opening track, Disconnected, begins with a slowly strummed chord progression, creating a sense of loneliness before launching into the song. Lucky Strike sounds almost like it could be an early Gaslight Anthem tune; while the intro to California Snow pays homage to Paul Westerberg, specifically We Are the Normal, the Goo Goo Dolls tune that Westerberg co-wrote. The final track, Bedroom Noise, is the most cheerful sounding of the bunch, starting with a gang of “whoas” that recall a variety of bands, from Against Me! to Junior Battles. Perhaps it’s just the joyous tone of the track, but it almost sounds like it’s from a different recording session.

Clocking in at seventeen minutes, “Let It Show” is an impressive release from a band that has only been together for a year. Demonstrating their capabilities to write a song that sounds fresh while simultaneously bringing the sounds of the early 90’s indie rock scene to mind, these four songs go nicely with all the other bands out there doing the same thing. The Radio Reds just might be on their very way to becoming college rock superstars (that's not a real thing, but you know what I mean).

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