Red City Radio – S/T
Red City Radio may be a new band to us but they’ve actually been around since 2005 and this is their third release. Given the band’s name comes from a William S Burroughs spoken word album there is the sense that they may offer a little bit more than your run of the mill punk band.
The band certainly make their punk rock credentials known with the in your face opener of “Watcha Got”. However, what soon becomes apparent it that the band recognise the need for a great tune. “Rest Easy” is a great rock song and not just a punk song. Then things get even better with the fantastic “Stranger”, which has a great melody to it.
The band’s ability to match their punk rock energy with a rock melody, inevitably draws comparisons to the likes of The Gaslight Anthem. That comparison is certainly merited with tracks like “Let Me In” and “I Should Have Known”, although the latter is far more “Sink and Swim’ than ‘American Slang’.
The band hit a real peak with the brilliant “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad”, it’s a perfect combination of passion, melody and a hint of commercial rock. That’s not to say the band aren’t equally comfortable dishing out some straight forward punk rock, as shown by “Electricity”. Whilst “Pretend Kings” sees a reappearance of a more rock feel and an almost Thin Lizzy influence. The album then ends with the more expansive “I’ll Catch A Ride” which, like many of their contemporaries, suggests they have spent some time listening to The Boss.
This is one of those albums where you just get the sense you are on to something a bit special. As each song comes on you will think this is great and turn up the dial so that inevitably you’ll be blasting the tracks out. Given that the Gaslight Anthem are on a ‘break’ many fans will be looking for a band to fill that gap. They’re big shoes to fit into, but on the basis of this album, Red City Radio would certainly appear capable of filling them.