Thursday, May 03, 2012

EP Review: Let It Show EP

Title:  Let It Show EP (BandCamp)
Artist:  The Radio Reds (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, BandCamp, ReverbNation)

The Radio Reds have a sound that is hard to nail down.  Most often the band’s music has been described as post-punk and while I guess that is probably the most applicable, The Radio Reds mix elements of post hardcore, indie rock, punk, and college rock creating a sound that is as unique and diverse as it is familiar.  This amalgamation of sounds becomes obvious when one looks at the influences the band listed on their Facebook page  
The Replacements, Alkaline Trio, Jawbreaker, The Gaslight Anthem, Husker Du, Against Me!, Ryan Adams/Whiskeytown, Refused, Texas Is The Reason, The Cure, SHARKS, R.E.M., Jimmy Eat World, Social Distortion, Spill Canvas, Blur...
Or better yet, to get an idea where these guys are coming from, check out this part of a rant/post from the band’s blog
Its not even that I am hating on these kids or these bands. I just wish they would take off their blinders and look into a larger history of punk rock (and just music in general for that matter). Expand your damn horizons. There is more to music than Saves The Day or The Wonder Years. Listen to Fugazi. Listen to Minutemen, Miles Davis, The Byrds, Elvis Costello, Refused, Alice In Chains, Hot Water Music, Duke Ellington, CCR, Sunny Day Real Estate, Tribe Called Quest, Orchid, The Melvins, KRS One, Fucked Up, Dag Nasty, Husker Du, and all the other bands that are remembered for a reason. Bands that will be remembered for a much longer time than Man Overboard or whatever else is considered the easy core anthem.
That same post also included references to Youth of Today, Descendents, and Negative Approach.  These cats know their underground music history and one can totally hear all of that in Let It Show.  Where The Radio Reds really succeed is in how seamlessly they blend these different styles into a cohesive sound.  In that way, The Radio Reds remind me a lot of The Fake Boys—not because they sound at all alike really but because they both have found ways to perfectly mix the vast cornucopia of sounds and styles found under the alternative umbrella.  Let It Show is the kind of release that should appeal to fans of everything from Black Flag to Against Me! to At the Drive-In to Archers of Loaf. 

The Radio Reds is a band for fans with a discerning ear.  Let It Show is not the kind of record that is easy to suss out, but that is one of the things that makes it so good.  Like a great meal, this is the kind of record that needs to be savored and taken in slowly.  Multiple listens may be required before the full weight of what is going on here will sink in, but it is well worth the effort.  Not everything in life should be easy and that includes music.  The Radio Reds knows their music history and thus asks a lot of the listener, but believe me it’s worth it.   

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