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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
Redlight Halo
Crash Family Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Redlight Halo is a difficult lot to pinpoint. The press release for the band reports that the members are "all veterans of innovative Southern California hardcore and rock bands," and in an odd sense, the hardcore aspect shines through in an intangible way, where as the rock aspect is plainly obvious after a first listen.

While running the risk of confusing, I'd hate to mislead readers to think that Redlight Halo is merely another hardcore band or another rock band. They are, rather, and amalgamation of so many different sounds that they form a sort of niche for themselves, creating music more akin with early 90s rock than the dreck of today.

The passion of hardcore and emo shines through, but they're not nearly as grating or heavy as artists in such genres can be. A Seattle sound is present as well, with a nod towards Nirvana, the Melvins, (a nod, mind you) and the grunge experience, but there's also some Bon Jovi here as well, which serves to maintain a generic rock appeal. Other bands spring to mind as well, namely Jawbox. Regardless, Redlight Halo is onto something here, something that unfortunately, is only explored on their eponymous five song EP.

The disc opens with "Plane Crash," an edgier rock piece delving into a thick bass line layered with repetitive chunky guitar riffs and gruff vocals, followed by "Cashout" which shows a more melodic side at times, but never lets up on the energy or emotion, and still winds its way with rough vocal delivery.

"Bloodless" starts with an alarmingly Nirvana-esque opening, while "Your Ghost" sounds as if it could be added to a local rock station's play list, right between Local H and Green Day, and not miss a beat. "Fanatique" finishes the disc off with the fastest and most dynamic song on the disc: layered screamed choruses and an early 90s hard rock whine, with almost subliminal beeping guitar notes in the background.

The music is hard and its inspirations are obvious, but they remain just that: inspirations. Redlight Halo avoid aural thievery and rely instead on creating very good hard rock, with just the right mix of edge and melody to keep the sound interesting. Hopefully future releases will build atop the foundation this EP's provided, launching another resurrection of a buried sound.

Reviewed by David Spain
Based in Chicago, Illinois, David Spain is a contributing writer for LAS magazine.

See other reviews by David Spain



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