Album Review: Red City Radio – Red City Radio

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing Red City Radio live, or have listened to either of their previous two full-lengths or handful of EPs and split singles, then you’ll know exactly what to expect from the Oklahoma juggernaut.

Indeed, perhaps the biggest surprise about ‘Red City Radio’ is that the band has barely missed a beat following the departure of vocalist/guitarist Paul Pendley last year. However, as Pendley so eloquently put it on his blog following his departure, it means Garrett Dale is still on duty to “sing you to sleep”. Naturally, when you have such a gravelly, lived-in voice as Dale’s, it’s likely to give you nightmares, but in Red City Radio it’s the perfect lead for their blue-collar rabble-rousing anthems – and ‘Red City Radio’ is brimming with them.

Like a big-rig cruising down Route 66, ‘Red City Radio’ takes a couple of tracks to get going, but by the time ‘Stranger’ and ‘Two Out of Three Ain’t Rad’ (yes, I did a fist pump when I saw the song title too…) roll around, it’s pretty much unstoppable. And then there’s ‘Electricity’; a huge sing-along which is essentially one long chorus. It’s what Red City Radio do best and it’ll leave you beaming from ear-to-ear.

Elsewhere, the pace drops for the mid-paced stomps of ‘Let Me In’ and ‘Pretend Kings’, but they still retain that chest-beating, fist in the air vibe that characterizes Red City Radio’s approach to making music, while closer ‘…I’ll Catch A Ride’ just begs you to grab a beer, hug a stranger and sing every word back.

Sometimes, it’s easy to overthink music, and get lost in praising brilliant musicianship or songwriting. Red City Radio will never win any songwriting awards (indeed, on ‘In the Meantime’ Dale barks “I just wanna get high and play my fucking guitar”, and that pretty much sums up Red City Radio) but it doesn’t really matter as ‘Red City Radio’ is just so monumentally enjoyable. It’s the sort of album that is made for road trips, to kick off a party or get you set for a night out. It’s simple, it’s unashamed of what it is and its limitations, and it’s all the better for it. The best thing to say is switch off your brain and play it real fucking loud. You won’t regret it…


‘Red City Radio’ by Red City Radio is out now on Staple Records.

Red City Radio links: Website|Facebook|Twitter

Words by Rob Mair (@BobNightMair)


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