CD REVIEW: Red Undead - Red Undead (EP)
by: Cyrus Rhodes
Genre: Alternative Rock, College Rock, Indie Rock
Mission Viejo, CA purveyors of garage rock, Red Undead are set to release their debut EP entitled Stories on Monday, April 21st available in Orange County record stores as well as the usual online retailers. Since their first live show at legendary dive punk bar Malone’s, it has been clear that Red Undead is a band that is never afraid. Evidenced by their use of unconventional song structures, blending of punky singing, staccato guitar, and dynamic drums, Red Undead has proven that they are a band who is willing to do anything. Band members include: Mary Yanashima - Vocals, Thomas Monroe- Guitar, Daniel Jun- Drums.
The CD lifts off the ground nicely with rocking intro piece “Guilty Glace.” This song serves up infectious rocked out guitars painted against mesmerizing vocals from Yanashima, hypnotic lyrical content and driving rock rhythm that quickly lead you by the hand down the path of psychedelic musical indulgence. Track 2 “Wake” keeps things rocking with its impressive guitar ambience, psychedelic groove, in your face vocals from Yanashima painted against a grand mosaic of vivid sound. The striking musical flow of this piece brilliantly moves like an ocean across the ears. Track 3 “Cowards” is an impressive methodical piece that is quite dynamic, full of tasty musical syncopation and dynamic musical peaks and valleys that flow and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. All in all one of my favorite pieces on the CD. This piece is remarkably striking to the ears as well with its Alternative Rock touches and hypnotic vibe. As the EP slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of a classic Superchunk, Hole, Liz Phair, L7, X, Cranberries on steroids and even older material from B52’s. I would classify this music as Alternative Rock with an Indie College Rock flair. I can also hear experimental type music with classic remnants of the rocked out Psychobilly glory days on the 80’s and 80’s. The CD presents brilliant flashes of theatrical rocked out ambience and all things rock n’ roll related. You will also straight forward 4 piece delivery layered along the way full of soaring guitar dynamics, a few well placed harmonies, low end rhythm section, hard hitting melodies. Yanashiman showcases some impressive singing/shouting with an appealing vibrato, and impassioned feel. Red Undead have clearly proves themselves with this latest release. They all possess solid musical instincts. During my initial research I discovered this band is quite the hot topic live. Playing live, these lads dish out a cosmic fury and induces the same in their audience. It’s hard, it’s heavy, it’s rock and roll, re-imagined and reinvigorated. That's what Rock n Roll is all about - pushing the limits. From my personal favorite rocked out “Sacred Song” melodic this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with “Track 5 “Backstab Bilgerata” the perfect finale statement for an EP of this caliber.
I wish there were more solo segments and vocal harmonies throughout the CD. All songs over 3.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. The mix and overall production value is a bit off kilter – especially on high end speaker and stereo systems. I typically deduct 1 start for EP releases as the full length release is the most complete snapshot to judge an artists by at any given point in time. The production bar is set relatively high for Independent Artists and bands like Red Undead in the overly saturated market.
Red Undead’s latest self-titled release is a compelling musical journey - that pushes hard. These guys pretty much rock the house and are just a blast to listen to. Their strong suit is its amazing rocked out ambience and song for song musical flow. These guys get high marks from me for their somewhat reckless musical approach that will get you rocking. This EP will be a real joy for those listeners out there who want flowing live sounding production to fill their sonic space peacefully and unobtrusively. This almost Punk Rock format makes for a great "live" experience. I recommend you just hit play, close your eyes and see where the party takes you. So if you’re looking for a psychedelic musical experience with rocked out flair that lets it all hang out then I highly recommend you take a listen to the latest EP from Red Undead right away via the above hyperlink. .