Everybody's been there: hungry at home without the proper ingredients to make one of your go-to recipes—but, in a moment of ingenuity, you somehow manage to cobble together enough cupboard staples and refrigerator mainstays to concoct a unique dish that's more than just the sum of its parts. Red Sun Project have done something similar with Liquid Moments, rummaging through the last couple of decades of indie, alternative and modern rock to whip something up that sounds familiar without coming off as overly derivative.
On Liquid Moments the Israeli duo have put together just over a dozen songs featuring dynamic vocals, layered harmonies and restrained-yet-prominent guitar-work that showcases an aptitude for both slow-burning jams and high-energy pop-rock catchiness. The more upbeat songs draw easy comparisons to Muse, while other tracks capture some of the bright, ringing guitar arrangements of the aforementioned band's lighter British brethren, Coldplay—although without the cheesy pop elements.
Red Sun Project is effective at ratcheting the intensity level up and down while still sounding musically like the same band. In the style of great ‘90s alt-rock albums from the likes of Stone Temple Pilots and The Smashing Pumpkins, Liquid Moments has tracks that rock out (“Go Ahead”), catchy single-ready songs (the title track, in particular), acoustic ballads (“In Your Light”) and quite a bit in between.
But while the instrumentation and song construction keeps the album on one track, Red Sun Project's alternating between its male and female vocalists create a bit of an uneven sway as the album barrels forward. The vocal melodies are fairly consistent throughout, but unfortunately the range of the two singers is not. Male vocalist Gilad Bloom excels on a couple of songs when he's at the top of his range, nearing or singing in falsetto, but on others gets muddled in the middle range. It's hardly his fault, and wouldn't be noticeable if his tracks weren't always bookended by Jenny Pakman's crazy pipes. She sings on a slight majority of the tracks and simply put, blows away every performance with both vocal acrobatics and evident earnestness.
It's also worth noting that the vocal arrangements and harmonies themselves—helmed by both members of the band, are very impressive. Pretty much every song involves harmonies, some layered beautifully and staggered almost in rounds, other mixed superbly into the background so that you don't overtly notice them as much as you just sense the depth they add to the song. The album's opener “Stranger” features particularly cool harmonies (as well as generally being a great song for getting the pulse of this band).
Finally, the production on the album is superb. Recorded by Tom Allon at Lool Records and mastered by Yogev Samina, Liquid Moments manages to clearly capture and delineate all of the individual elements without sounding spare or sterile. The end result is an album where it's easy to pick out the lyrics and individual instruments, but also easy just to flip on in the background and enjoy it as a whole.
At the end of the day, Red Sun Project serves up a familiar-yet-unique blend of indie rock, spiced with sincerity and delivered with aplomb.
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