Friday, July 24, 2015
Red Sun Revival : " Identities"
In some ways this UK band really gets it right on their second album. They don't try to be Joy Division , and pull from deeper roots like the Church,Mission UK and the Psychedelic Furs. This is a brighter side of pop goth, but not quite New Romantic. Their sound is upbeat enough to be dancey and brooding enough to not depress you.They nailed the dramatic baritone vocals , where the singer still actually sings. The guitars and keyboards are balanced and every thing is very crisp sounding rather than soaked in re-verb. They only thing about these guys is the hooks of their songs don't grab me like "Love My Way" or any of the goth that piggy backed in on the new wave scene to make it onto the radio. They are much more talented than the bulk of the hipster revivalist bands who are simply punk rock bands trying to work the angle.
They have some interesting guitar sounds on "Four Walls" , but the song is pretty straight forward and doesn't pull out any new tricks we have not yet visited in the first two songs. "the Reckoning" has a cool bass tone and truth be told I can nit pick every cool sound that comes out of this album , but part of the problem is the songs don't have the bull dog teeth they need to latch onto ...well me.The verse does improve on this song and makes its stand out from the first few and eventually comes together . "Fade in Time" has plenty of morose melodrama with synth strings keeping things elegantly tense in the back ground. While he is emotive Rob Leydon's vocals hover in a similar register for most of the album, this begins to make some of the songs sound the same once you are almost half way into the album.
The keyboards to "In Your Name" might sounds like the Cure , but I begin to hear other elements that bring to mind every one from Toad the Wet Sprocket to Marillion, bands that are significantly less creepy. They do get back on track with "Mistakes" which is classic dancey goth/pop. The slow things down into a lush symphonic landscape that sounds like it could be a soundtrack to a dream sequence from an 80s vampire movie. While they conjure some good ear candy, neither part one or two of " The Condemned" really builds it much of a pay off and finds the band wandering around in that almost prog Marillion place. The end the album with more of a Cure like acoustic strum. But Leydon is far from Robert Smith when it comes to crafting hooky melodies, often coming across a little stiff. Overall it's a little bland for my taste , but there is not a lot else coming out these days that sounds like this so if you preferred more middle of the road goth this is for you , I'll call it a 7.