Album Reviews :: Grey Area, The Copyrights, The Reveling, Luther and Red Collar

Grey Area, The Copyrights, The Reveling, Luther :: Split out now on Black Numbers

I love comps and splits. In high school when my cash from my minimum wage job was tight and I wanted some new music, I always went for a comp from a label I liked or a split with at least one band I dug. I felt like it was the safest way to discover new music. (You know, before the days when every band or label had a website.)

This is a split that I would have loved to come upon in those days, four bands, 8 tracks, that all totally fucking rule. The first half (Grey Area and The Copyrights) have a more polished sound while the second half (The Reveling and Luther) is more raw. Really all I need to say about this comp is that it is fast, fun, energetic, damned fun pop punk rock. If you twist my arm, Sixty One by Luther is the killer track on this split.

 

Red Collar :: Welcome Home out now on Tiny Engines

Red Collar’s Welcome Home is a record that I was so glad that I was able to hold in my hands and read the lyric sheet as I listened. It is a folky roots punk rock and roll record and demands something more tangible than an mp3.

The vocals for the record are established in the first track and remain consistent throughout; it is the music that takes you on the journey of the rise and fall contained in the songs. The vocals are not too polished and not too gravely, this realism establishes a connection immediately. The music on the other hand varies from instances where it lulls the listener to angry and thrashy.

The music and vocals, along with lyrical content create a very distinctive voice for the record, though it is not an entirely consistent voice. The “I” speaking in each track does not remain the same, each song tells a story that adds up to something larger. The songs on side A are more universal experiences, akin to the stories that grandparents tell, that seem like they had a shared childhood with all your friends grandparents, hard times, hard work, and broken families. The songs on Side B are more specific, as if these speakers are the children and grandchildren of those “I”s in the song on Side A. The flow of the record is very natural, something that we can feel in our bones. Both sides A & B have their own arches and ending songs that highlight and punctuate the feelings that the band wanted to create in that span of songs.

Though I have focused on their storytelling style and the distinct speakers, there are small moments in each track that allow a variety of listeners to connect, my personal favorite comes from  Welcome Home, “There ain’t much in this world / not broken by minutes or miles”.

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