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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Redlight Halo
Make Your Maker EP
The Local Cannery Recording Company

Rating: 6.5/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Redlight Halo mixes things up without claiming any loyalty to a specific genre. While they are most reminiscent of harder rock and roll acts, they never lessen their power chords or give full way to sweaty swagger. They hold back, and therefore make a sound less predictable and heavy, but it ends up being more fun.

As soon as their songs get comfortable, they change direction without bending to the cheesiness of most post-hardcore acts (whose transitions from a quiet, slow-paced melody to all out screaming noise has gotten old). On a side note, hardcore is now all-too-familiar, now met with eye rolling or new fans clad in trucker hats and studded belts. Thankfully, Redlight Halo avoids this trapping altogether. The first track, "Make Your Maker," is solid rock and roll reminiscent of such groups as the Catheters, with relentlessly howling vocals and chaotic driving guitars. When broken down mid-song, it is then aggressively rebuilt.

The band also avoids stagnancy when shifting tone in their songs; they don't all sound as if they're fueled by drunkenness and shredding guitars. Songwriting and melody are given especial attention on "Pollyanna's Dead," which is polished in its over-the-top delivery of the chorus and song-ending guitar riffing. "Non-Practicing Diabetic" is, as well, attentively put together. Despite a couple rightly placed screams, it slows the tempo and relies mostly on a bare drumbeat and right-on vocals. However, they don't keep things quiet for too long, which is another plus for this EP. Redlight Halo doesn't feel the need to throw in the prerequisite ballad-type track that usually drags down an otherwise upbeat group of songs.

With its melodramatic chorus, "Rabbit Got a Gun" sounds a bit too commercial in comparison to the EP's other tracks, and is the only song that truly detracts. Otherwise, Make Your Maker keeps it short and sweet; Redlight Halo's songwriting is varied enough to be interesting, and they stay away from all the unnecessary tinkering and easy traps that can drag down an album of this sort.

Reviewed by Abbie Amadio
The last we heard Abbie Amadio, a former contributor to LAS, was based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

See other reviews by Abbie Amadio



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