Red Monday consists of Rick Harris (Lead Vocal), Mike McCarron (Drums, Percussion and Backing Vocals), Jeff Kylloe (Bass)and Jim Miller (Producer, Songwriter, Guitars, and Backing Vocals). The band set its foundation a couple of years back when Jim Miller reconnected with several old musician friends and former bandmates at special concert, organized by Guy Arnston, the former Editor of the Illinois Entertainer Newspaper. They’re now ready to unleash their début self-titled album on the 9th of August, while the first single from the album, “Time (It’s About Time)” is already available.
Red Monday plays hard-driving, radio-friendly rock songs with the finesse of a classic art rock band. Like the album opener “She’s On Fire” – this bunch have an uncanny talent for being right about which song should be the first one. The first track is an upbeat song, but it doesn’t just crash into you and knock you over on the first beat like the head-banger stuff of rock’s earlier era. Red Monday serenely shifts into ‘drive’ and build in intensity through the first verse, reaching full stride at the chorus. The next time you play the song, you realize that it didn’t start slow and speed up – it was at full tempo from beat one – only the intensity and sound textures change!
Many people dismiss the current rock scene as a repetitive corporate sounding nightmare. Red Monday proves that theory wrong with this album. The musicianship is first rate and the songs are wonderful. A great mixture of pop hooks, intelligent lyrics and well-crafted rock songs make this album appealing to even the most discerning ear, and well worth buying. Red Monday recaptures the 80’s melodic-rock catchiness – without the synths, and applies true-grit 70s-styled rock rhythms in their current sound arsenal.
What I love most about this album is the fact that the songs sound great played in the order they are presented in. This may seem like an insignificant observation, considering that the digital era has completely changed how we produce, acquire and listen to music today.
However, I grew up in the heyday of the vinyl era (which I still consider the best media for listening to recorded music) and when you placed the turntable needle to the album surface, that record needed to capture your attention from track one right until the end. Too much skipping of tracks, aside from being a pain in the backside, spelled danger, as you ran the risk of scratching and damaging cherished records.
So apart from the creativity point of view, having a bunch of good tracks, stuck one after the other, added value to the overall quality and listening pleasure of any album. To this day I still judge full-length albums with this standard in mind! And Red Monday passes the test with flying colors! Their songs gel into one another so beautifully and each one is dominated by Rick Harris’ pleasing voice – yet another plus.
Throughout the course of this album there is an overall upbeat tone with playful musicianship and some interesting and very professional song-craft. The layering of the vocals is especially notable, sounding akin to the vocal layers from the legendary 80s rock bands – Red Monday yield the same power but with more intimacy.
The songs are melodic, driving, and very creative, moving between a variety of tempos and textures. This one should be on any rock music lover’s list. A rare album that has not a single throw-away song in the bunch!
Starting from the opener, “She’s On Fire” then onto “Time (It’s About Time)” the first single off the album, or the quieter “Closer”, the driving “Sanctuary”, the soaring vocals and superlative arrangement of “You Move Me” (probably my favourite track on the entire album), through to “Broken Promises”, “Man In The Mirror” and the acoustically-induced album closer, “Somebody Else”.
The self-titled Red Monday album is loaded with potent electric-guitar rock and classic sounding songs, while the production is crisp and clean too. Proof that technique and attitude is everything in rock.
There’s no other way to put it – Red Monday is simply awesome!
The album’s official release date is set for Aug 9. While the first single: “Time (It’s About Time)” was released on July 12.