Red Monday – Red Monday – Album Review
Sometimes I look around rather viciously at articles written by my peers. When we review independent music, often those albums you see on our pages pop up in other corners of the internet…and quite often I find myself cursing out the writers writing them. As a community, and a supporter…all I’ve ever wanted for each and every one of those journalistic-slackers is to want MORE for themselves. In most cases, they manage to get the names right…and while I’m not here today to bash on the many voices of the internet, I DO know that you come HERE to these reviews because of the thorough research that I put myself through every time I do one of these reviews.
I cannot…for a single second…imagine what it might have been like to simply hear this debut album from Red Monday without reading the amazing backstory that comes along with it.
The first thing you need to understand when you’re listening…is that you’re listening to album that nearly didn’t exist at all. The second thing I’d say you’d need to know and recognize through the achievement of Red Monday here, is that it is NEVER too late to pursue your dreams.
Whatever…so the last sentence in the last paragraph indicates they’re a little on the older side. The fact remains – this new album’s indicates that there’s plenty of youthfulness stored up inside them. You can hear the sound of a band that is truly having an awesome time just EXISTING through the opening tracks “She’s On Fire” and “Brianna.” These songs really open the debut strongly with energy, strong song-writing and tight musicianship.
The sound itself…is not maybe as old as they might perceive it to be, and certainly updated past the point of writing them; again their backstory shows that many of these songs were literally written 25 years ago! As it comes out through the first moments of Red Monday, and into the official single “Time (It’s About Time) – personally I’d put them around….The Verve Pipe-meets-Elvis Costello. Yeah…I’m comfortable in that assessment…singer Rick Harris certainly echoes both at points and the music is on the lighter, more playful side of rock throughout the album.
What I was extremely uncomfortable with…was the very idea that I’d be listening to songs that were 25 years old! Haven’t lied to you all before and I’m not about to start now; to me this is ALWAYS the extreme red-flag of a band that can’t move on, can’t continue to create or build upon the sound they once created…
THIS…is entirely different for me…and in all kinds of incredibly positive ways.
I had to take a step back and realize – there’s nothing stagnant here…there’s no STALL in the creativity of Red Monday; these songs literally NEVER had a chance to come to life before! I can’t imagine just how happy all these guys are to hear these tunes come back through their stereos and into their eardrums. I completely commend each of these guys – Rick Harris (Vox), Mike McCarron (Drums & Backing Vox), Jeff Kylloe (Bassman) and Jim Miller (Guitars, Backing Vox, Producer, Songwriter) – this has got to be a surreal and extraordinary moment in time for them all.
You can HEAR that magic in this album. In tracks like “Isn’t That The Way,” and “When I Hear Your Voice,” you can really notice that these songs have spent their time in the incubation stage, just waiting for their moment to break out of the shell. The way that Kylloe’s bass starts the album rumbling off, the intensity of the drums from McCarron, the perfectly-placed guitar work & precision-songwriting of Miller, and the confidence of Harris through the vocals make this entire album have a real feeling of celebration to it. “You Move Me,” is a great example, drawing nearly on the lighter parts of a Van Halen sound…but authentic! You see…Red Monday isn’t forced to duplicate and recycle themselves like VH has for the past, ummmm…TWENTY years. This album might sound ‘older’ in style – but the delivery is completely genuine and fresh out-the-box. The production is perfect, crisp, clear and true to the sounds of these songs. It really is like songwriter Jim Miller has just been waiting to push record all this time and knew exactly what to do when that moment finally came.
There’s a definitely feeling of a true slice of Americana on this debut album, but again, many moments you’ll find them breakthrough the traditional sounds associated with that style in their very own way. “Broken Promises” comes out absolutely flawlessly; either Harris has found two vocal sounds that work incredibly well, or there’s a trade-off happening over the mic between lead and backing vox…whatever the recipe was, it certainly worked wonders, excellent track.
Everyone knows that a fire still burns long after the flames disappear, and as the album winds down through final tracks “Man In The Mirror,” and the completely-perfect ending of “Somebody Else,” you get a real sense that the sparks alone will carry the excitement of this band clear into their next album. As they commented in their bio at their official page – it’s a very different world to MAKE music in – one that certainly has allowed these songs to enjoy the vibrant life they’ve always deserved.
They say it takes a lifetime to make that first album, and two weeks to make the second. Of all records I’ve ever listened to, this one sure rings true to the first part of that timeless statement. But now that they’ve got a taste for what they can achieve on a record through this stellar debut – I’d be shocked to not hear from Red Monday again really, really soon.
Find them at their official page at: http://www.redmondaymusic.com/
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