Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Red City Radio - The Dangers of Standing Still

My friend Holly was mocking me today and saying something along the lines of, "all the bands you review sound exactly the same." Which led me to believe either one of two things. First option being that her ears are actually equalizers, and she just views music as bars, and maybe they seem to be the same in that aspect, as in the bars are colored green in every song for whatever purpose (or any color you choose, guys). Or, the other option, she just hasn't listened to any of the bands I've reviewed. I mean, the last reviews I did were Mikey Erg, Smoking Popes, Citizen Fish, With the Punches, Screeching Weasel, and Rival Schools. How do any of those bands sound like each other? The only two in the same grenre really are Mikey and Weasel, and they still have different sounds. Regardless, I know what she means. She means that I don't review anything popular, and she assumes since all I used to listen to around her was Teenage Bottlerocket, Dopamines, House Boat, and Dear Landlord, that everything I review will be of that exact subgenre. Well, I'm about to put my foot in my mouth by reviewing an album by a band that sounds like everything I just listed. Fuck the world!

I'm starting to have a soft spot in my heart for Paper + Plastick. At first, I didn't really care for them because all I knew about them was that WATU was going to be released on them, and at the time I was kind of upset about the band losing their saxophonist Johnny Tsunami, so I was like, "yo, fuck them!" But then they started trying to get in my pants by releasing Expect the Worst by The Dopamines...and then they had Coffee Project, Cheap Girls, Dave Hause, Fun, The Flatliners, Westbound Train, and then I started liking the new WATU album...and you know...I kind of love Paper + Plastick now. I'm talking about them because the album I'm reviewing, "The Dangers of Standing Still" by Red City Radio, is of course one of P+P's many esteemed releases. And, while it may sound really similar to shit I already dig (as mentioned above), it's still its own band and this band rocks their shit pretty hard.

Red City Radio are a punk/pop-punk band that formed in 2005 in Oklahoma City. They're pretty much like The Dopamines meets Latterman meets a vocalist who will dropkick your children with just his voice alone. This isn't your grandma's pop punk; I promise you this. While this band may sound within the same genre as some of the more respected pop punk groups of today, I feel as though their guitar work and overall song composition is a bit more intricate, and is probably superior to a lot of what this genre has to offer. I feel as though they could be lazy about the guitars, and just have the rhythm section be pretty simple, and still skate by with awesome vocal lines and catchiness, but they decide to be badasses and make the songs sound much fuller and way more interesting. With a few releases under their belts, and the awesome support of Paper + Plastick, these guys are going to turn your heads either by playing awesome music, or their manly instrumentals and vocals will Steven Seagal your shit and snap your neck.

The first song "An Introduction of Sorts" immediately reminds me of a harder version of Captain, We're Sinking. The song has a really strong, powerful feel to it, and it makes you wish you were at one of their shows AT THIS FUCKING SECOND. However, instead I'm sitting in my room in Kentucky just listening to it on my shitty netbook speakers. Woe is me, woe is me. The introduction leads seemlessly into the second song "The Benefits of Motion" and completely succeeds in fucking your ears' mom. This shit is brilliant, really. The guitar solo is refreshing because it's actually a fucking solo and not just the vocal melody played out on guitar and used as an excuse for a lead part. "Two For Flinching" is an excellent example of their ability to write cool as shit leads. Shit just got real!

The longest song on this album is "Spinning In Circles Is a Gateway Drug", which is a song off their previous release by the same title. This song stands the test of time, by that I mean how long the song lasts vs. it still holding my interest. It's a four minute song, yet I'm completely enthralled the entire time. It's amazing, and excels where other's have failed. The songs on this album have a great amount of "woahs" and "ohs", which definitely hits another soft spot here at Idle and the Bear. We're complete dorks over that kind of shit, and we've yet to figure out why, scientifically, that is. It's hard to even review this album, because I care way more about listening to it than I do about talking about listening to it. It's just that whenever I type, I feel like I might be missing something as I type. Each of these songs is fucking incredible and has amazing backup vocals and gang vocals and leads and lines I'll be quoting for ages! "The system, it wasn't designed for us! The system, it wasn't designed for us!" Jesus H. Christ, this shit is boss.

(I was just about to tell you guys to hold on while I go get a refill of Arnie's, but then I realized that isn't how blogs work, and that you'd never know if I disappeared for a moment to refill my glass or use the washroom (eh?) or anything. I might be insane.)

This album is consistently good throughout, each song is something to write home to mom about. Individually, really. And, for those at Pop Punk Message Bored, these are more tunes you should listen to while hittin' it with your slampiece. While the songs may not sound too different from each other throughout the album, they still pack their own punch and kick and what have you. You should just do what I do, and put them in a mix with other bands that you want to listen to, and then play it on shuffle, and everything will be new when you hear it, because it won't blend by just being one after the other. Basically, this is a great band to put on a mixtape for a girl or guy you like, and have them really want to do behind-closed-doors stuff with you later. They talk about Oklahoma a lot in these songs...I don't think I know anything about Oklahoma at all, but I now I feel as though I've been there and everything! Ha.

"Drinking Ourselves Into the Future" is a good example of how important it is to draw your vocals from more than one bandmate. These guys have quite a talented roster of dudes for the lead parts, and for the woah-ohs and shit. Something I haven't mentioned yet is that I think the drums are pretty fucking rad and the bass tone is fly as fuck. I really wish I had the ability to record an album and have it sound this good. Actually, if I recorded an album professionally, I'd murder to have the bass sound like it does on Kill Punk Rock Stars by The Fad. And so would you, assuming you've heard that album. I think every one of these songs has woah-ohs...beautiful.

The album closes with "Never Bring a Cup of Water to a Gunfight" and it does itself the service of ending just as strong as it started off. This album is over 30 minutes, which I know can be overwhelming for all of us dudes who love 7 inchers (I will not make a dick joke), but they definitely rock it throughout. This album leaves you begging for more. Lucky for me, I haven't listened to their other releases yet, so I have somewhere else to go from here. Unlucky for you people who have heard it all, this album just came out so you'll probably have to wait a little bit for something new (for trash like you). But luckily, you can just continue to listen to their albums on repeat anyway and get that warm, satisfied feeling. You can pick up this record from Paper + Plastick and rejoice in the aura of awesomeness it will create around you.


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