Release the Panic

An Album By

Red

Review by

Listen now

While walking toward the arena, several soccer moms, each with a varying degree of visible angst, ran up the steps and entered the concourse.

Red had just taken the stage.

My evening until that point was spent manning a vendor booth. To be honest, Red was the only music I wanted to experience. They are, in my humble opinion, the best band on Winter Jam. I smiled as the line of women continued through the second song of the set.

Meanwhile, I eagerly awaited music from the upcoming album, Essential Records Release The Panic which hits the streets on February 5th. This fourth release from Red was produced by Howard Benson, a name which may be familiar to some. Benson lent his hand to well-known acts such as P.O.D., My Chemical Romance, Daughtry, Skillet, among others.

Stepping back seven years, just before their debut release, I took a risk and interviewed this new band. I would normally only sit down with more established groups. After all, too many end up putting out one album, go out on one or two tours, and are ultimately never to be heard from again. I remember pondering if the record label may have also taken a chance by adding a heavier rock band to their roster.

It appears to have paid off.

Red not only successfully climbed over the sophomore slump, they made it on both sides of the proverbial table, performing alongside notable rock acts such as Hinder, 3 Doors Down, Creed, Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, Godsmack, Sevendust, Flyleaf, Seether, Papa Roach, Buckcherry, Staind, Third Day, Switchfoot, and Skillet, among others.

Red introduced new songs to the sold out crowd, but it was only a teaser. I eagerly placed the CD in my car on the way to an early morning meeting. I don’t drink coffee, but the title track, which leads the album, was almost as good as a boost of caffeine to properly begin my day.

As I continued to listen to Release The Panic, I realized that Red does not fit into the scenario where bands lose their edge with age. Actually, the overall feel of the album offers more edge than before, though the ballads are still present. Vocalist Michael Barnes, guitarist Anthony Armstrong, bassist Randy Armstrong and drummer Joe Rickard offer the same signature Red sound. In fact, if you played snippets of each song, you would know you were listening to Red. But this release is perhaps a step up musically from previous deliveries.

The Deluxe edition includes five additional songs; two brand new and three remixes. I am not a huge fan of re-mixes in general but “Breathe Into Me” is worth the extra cash for the added material. It’s feasible that those soccer moms at Winter Jam would relax when listening to that version.

My main downside to the album, based on a couple of spins, is similar to the first three. The production is over-polished. Maybe I’d just rather hear the songs live.

Features

Comrades 2020

Becoming Comrades

The trio of Comrades – husband and wife Joe and Laura McElroy alongside drummer John Gaskil – is used to living in a van and touring the country. Now, their new normal has provided them with a moment to "be adults" for once. We recently sat down with the McElroys to talk more about the spiritual reality within life, how soon they'll be able to release new music, and how koalas are their new normal.

By

Photo by Quinsey Sablan

Full Feature
Tigerwine 2020

A Disparate Vintage

On Tigerwine's latest, 'Nothing is for You,' vocalist and lyricist Trobee departs from the band's last effort as a concept record to write about an array subjects. Notably, Trobee tackles his evolution from rigid belief system to an acceptance and understanding of other ideas: "Through touring and becoming close with those very people I was taught to be afraid of, I realized how untrue it all is."

By

Full Feature
Payable on Death – P.O.D.

A Voice of Life

Almost 27 years after the band's first studio album, P.O.D.'s message is arguably more important than ever. "I believe (our message) is even more relevant now than it was then. If you really listen to 'Youth of the Nation,' we still have these tragedies going on. There’s a lot of searching still going on out there."

By

Full Feature
HM covers from over the years

HM Magazine Turns 35

In 1985, Doug Van Pelt photocopied a letter-sized sheets of paper, bound them together, and handed them out in person on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. It's all digital now, but, along the way, Van Pelt stirred up quite a few waves, played some seriously heavy music, and made a few friends along the way. Here: A quick look back at the magazine's 35-year history with Van Pelt and new owner, David Stagg.

By

Full Feature
All Features