Kevin Brown (vocals/guitar), Ricky Ganiere (bass/vocals), Mike Mann (guitar/vocals) and Jeff Holden (drums) are Redbelt. The band from Wisconsin released Beautiful Surround. Their music is about as standard no frills rock as you can get. You can reference more than a handful of rock bands from classic to contemporaries that these guys sound like. Suffice it to say this music is not for anyone who is interested in the fringe of what rock music offers.
This is the type of music that is usually best served on Friday nights at a bar. It’s fun, simple music that instills a visceral reaction. This music does not require active listening with headphones where you will discover something new each time you listen.
The band opens with “Crossed Wires” which opens with a four-chord punk progression. There is no denying that the the band brings a good amount of energy to the song and that they can play in the pocket.
Up next is “American Mercy” which sounds like classic Americana. The title track was a highlight amongst the batch. As the album progresses I can’t say there is much deviation. The band does a good job creating memorable melodies, palatable vocal harmonies and crunchy guitars.
Depending how you look at this could be a good thing or a bad thing. The other highlight to my ears was “Hard Light” but for the most part the band sticks to what they do best.
Is Redbelt bringing anything new to the table? No, not by a long shot. The band plays into tropes with no apologies. Take that for what it is. Their music has an American, blue collar vibe and I can imagine it being played in backyard BBQ’s. If that was their goal they succeeded.
The band has some solid hooks and a great energy that is injected into rock 101 songs that many of us have come to love over the years.
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