Red Admirals is a rock band from Dallas, Texas who recently released their debut EP entitled Year of the Flood. The four-piece band comprised of Rob Owens (guitars/vocals), Kevin McNeil (drums), Brendan McGeehan (bass) Matthew Lane (lead vocals/guitar) play a brand of rock that strays away from what you would hear on mainstream radio and even within most of the indie scene.
The music contains elements of post-punk from the mid to late ‘70s but I was also frequently reminded of a very general style of ‘80s rock. I think it had to do with something within the singer’s delivery, the occasional pick scrape and a number of classic guitar moves that were popular in that decade.
The EP opens with “Rewilding” which was a good choice for an opener because of the fast BPM and energy. I was pulled in by the seductive bass line, sheets of distortion from the guitars and tom drums which started the song with a build up. The band doesn’t dilly-dally and is able to get to the verse in under a minute. On the verse Owens’ lyrics are poetic and ambiguous. He sings, “painted in a corner eyes for brushes guilt the color.” As the song progresses you are greeted to some impressive lead guitar and my personal favorite moment where the singer ambiguously howls at around three-and-a-half minutes in.
The band changes up the pace with the second track “Return” which has elements of post-punk as well as a band like Franz Ferdinand. I enjoyed the army like snare drum action on this song and the infectious chorus where he sings, “Comeback to me.”
By the time you get to “The Anchor” it’s apparent the band was cognizant of changing up the feel of each song through rhythmic diversity. They achieved a great stereo sound with guitars by applying reverb, delay and panning techniques. It sounds great on a nice pair of headphones. The closer “Whisper Me” has the most overt ‘80s arena like feel to me. They rock pretty hard and I was glad the band decided to go out with a bang rather than a ballad.
Year of the Flood isn’t the most innovative rock album to come out this year but it does supply some enjoyable songs that I would think most fans of the genre would appreciate. It’s a good start and hopefully just the beginning of what we can expect from the group.
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