Artist: Red Light Revival
Album: Infinite Twin
Release Date: 1st July 2016
Hailing from Leeds are the mighty five-piece rock outfit Red Light Revival, a band who describe themselves as a classic anglo-american rock act influenced by the likes of Tom Petty, Bad Company and The Rolling Stones. They formed in 2007, and since then have been spreading their distinctive blend of US and UK classic rock sounds by keeping a busy gigging schedule. Their Facebook page even states that they’re available for any gig in any place. And by the sound of their latest album release “Infinite Twin”, you’d have to be crazy not to book them. As reviewing their latest EP, we also interviewed the band recently. You can find it below.
1. Standing in the Shadows
2. Traintrack Suicide
3. Lord Lord Lord
4. Of Her Door
5. Sitting on the Ceiling
6. Don’t Ask Questions
“Infinite Twin” is the band’s third release so far following 2012’s “Caustic Soul Protection” and their 2009 self-titled debut EP. By the sound of things Red Light Revival are a primarily live act and this latest release really highlights that fact. There’s no technical wizardry, no production tricks and no messing about. It sounds clean, punchy, and most of all it sounds huge. But what is most interesting about this band is their ability to wear their influences on their sleeve musically and still use those influences to create a cohesive and unique sound which is nearly impossible to compare to any other band. And over the course of their latest EP’s 7 tracks, they show off many influences with varying ranges of subtlety, but all with their own distinctive artistic vision.
The opening number “Standing In The Shadows” begins with gentle acoustic pianos and guitar which start the track off with an Eagles-esque country rock vibe permeated by lead vocals slightly reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham. Within the first minute, the rest of the band comes in with huge double-tracked lead guitar and slow driving drums which build into and epic sound which nods to Loaded-era Velvet Underground. It’s a very bold and audacious opener, and it really works.
“Traintrack Suicide” rolls up with a piano-heavy stomping rhythm. The strengths behind the production really show their face in this number as each individual instrument finds its own space in the mix with a solid blend of grit and warmth. The piano has one of the best recorded sounds I’ve heard in a long time, it sounds like you’re stood right next to the player and it does a great job of holding everything together within the song.
“Lord Lord Lord” gives off a real country vibe with its bouncy electric guitar and four-to-the-floor kick drum beat. The track slowly builds up throughout its duration without exploding into a bombastic climax. The wordless female backing vocals really add some colour to this song as it builds in intensity and volume. And just as you expect it to either end or explode, it cuts out the instrumentation and gives way to a beautiful crunchy guitar solo. It’s an unexpected end to the track and is bound to surprise the listener.
“Of Her Door” is a jangly classic rock tune, which stands as one of the EP’s catchiest moments. The chorus vocals are very infectious and feature some beautiful male and female vocal harmonies. It really succeeds at slowing the pace the EP at its midpoint despite still being an upbeat tune.
“Sitting On The Ceiling” immediately remedies the previous track with a hard rock guitar line which is soon joined by thundering drums which compliment the piano lines and bass guitar. It gives a subtle Doors/Stooges vibe and stands as one of the most energetic numbers on the release.
“Don’t Ask Questions” starts with a dreamy rhythm guitar line which one would expect to hear in a Jeff Buckley song. However, this is soon joined by a shuffling rhythm section which reminds me of something The Travelling Willburys would come out with. The lead vocals even give off a slight Tom Petty vibe and the bassline is truly wonderful. The track really shows off the band’s influences and stands as the most apparent instance of this on the entire EP.
The closing track “Amigo” ends the EP on a very surprising note. The opening guitar and rolling tom-tom rhythm sound inspired by early 90’s grunge acts such as Alice In Chains and Nirvana.
However the lead vocals and guitar parts prevent the song from disappearing into this style of music, highlighting Red Light Revival‘s knack for building a unique sound from their various musical influences. It’s a really interesting choice for a closing number, but it really works in that it doesn’t end with full stop. It ends with a comma, and in all honesty I was disappointed to reach the end of the EP. But that’s just a testament to this tracks ability to leave the listener wanting more.
All in all “Infinite Twin” is an expertly crafted and produced slab of classic rock which interests and entertains in equal measure. Red Light Revival have made something that will catch the attention of modern rock fans whilst still giving fans of classic rock something they can relate to. It’s very commendable that the EP never goes overboard and hasn’t been over-produced, yet it still sounds like it could happily fill a stadium with its huge sound and pristine musicianship. “Infinite Twin” is a release that ticks many boxes and achieves many impressive feats of musicality. And Red Light Revival do it all with the utmost amount of care and grace. My only criticism is that there isn’t more to listen to. They’ve earned themselves a new fan, and “Infinite Twin” is guaranteed to earn them many more.
Last week the band kindly took some time out of their busy schedule to be interviewed by us. Here it is:
Hello, Red Light Revival!
First of all, could you introduce yourselves? Your names and your roles in the band?
Hi! The band consists of Matt on Vocals & Rhythm guitar, Jon on Lead Guitar, Ben on Keyboards, Phil on Bass, and Charlie on Drums.
Thank you. Could you tell us how you all met up and became a band?
[Jon] The band was born from a drunken cover band venture for a works party about ten years ago. The original members of that who remain in the band today are Matt, Charlie and Ben. They enjoyed playing together so much that Ben and Matt decided to start writing together and from there the band as we know it today was formed. It’s quite a long story and one that you can read about on our website in Ben’s various blogs.
Wow, I’m definitely going to read it! You are based in Leeds. Could you tell us how the music scene is like up there?
[Ben] The scene itself here in Leeds is great. There are loads of very good bands and some very good venues to play at. There is some real talent coming out of here at the moment, and to rub shoulders with the likes of Apollo Junction and The Brazen even if they are fronted by a brummie, is both exciting and a privilege. Regarding the promoters in Leeds, that’s a different story. Some are great…
The scene seems to be huge. So suppose there are all sorts…
Who are your influences? Does everyone listen to similar music and bands?
[Jon] I’m never sure how to answer questions about influences as I think that there is difference between liking stuff and trying to emulate it. Matt made a very good point in an interview that we did for The Shift Radio that we have been told that we have a natural sound that emulates Classic American Rock. I don’t know if that’s the case, but it’s the sort of sound that we are looking for. As far as what bands that we listen to, I guess it is Classic American Rock…, and Jethro Tull for Charlie. So perhaps it’s not a surprise that is how we sound. Which also makes a mockery of my initial smugness in answering this question.
[Ben] I was going to go to say that I like a bit of Vivaldi, but that doesn’t influence us in the slightest. But I suppose that I would sound like an utter cock if I said that.
Hmmm somehow I don’t think so Ben! Well, how do you go about writing your songs?
[Charlie] The songwriting process has changed this over time. The first three albums were written by Matt and Ben sitting down together, drinking heavily and talking about a story that they would make up while drinking. They would then put it to music. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Recently though Matt has been in London working away, which has meant that a lot of the latest album has been written independently. It’s cool because Jon and Ben have now been writing together. The results are more of a classic rock feel but in no way will replace the feel of RLR as Matt and Ben will be finishing the album off together.
It seems like that you are gaining more abilities. You released the new album “Infinite Twin” recently. How would you describe this album?
[Phil] Yeah, it’s ok, can you grab me a beer?
I can grab everyone a beer!
[Ben] That’s actually a good question. Personally, I love the first two albums and rate them both more than Infinite Twin, but then I listen to it and find it to be really good. There’s some great stuff on there, but I don’t think it’s as rocky as I would like. The next album will blow it out of the water. It’s 7/10 for me. Obviously, buy it though.
That’s really interesting, Ben. You make me tempting to hear the next already! Your first single from the album “Standing in the Shadows” is huge! Could you tell us about this song?
[Ben] It’s a song that was written predominantly by Matt, which annoys the fuck out of me to be honest as it’s brilliant. I asked him for his response to this question, and he said
(Matt) “Thanks! It’s one of our favourites, with some great production. Every band member gave everything to the song. It’s about fear of missing out and meaning you miss out”
[Ben] It’s the sort of half arsed response you would get from him. To be honest I’m surprised he bothered answering my e-mail.
[Jon] If I hear one more thing about having to sound like Slash, I swear I will quit this band.
Haha! Is this kind of tunes that you are most interested in to create?
[Ben] You’re asking questions that are forcing me to sound all arty in my responses.
Not at all! I’m not expecting that. Well, yes, nice to hear something arty!
[Ben] Ultimately we are trying to write some songs that when people hear them they go “wow”. Shadows, I think does that. It leans heavily on the Classic Rock Genre. When we were recording it I kept telling Jon that he needed to think of Slash’s guitar work on Estranged by Guns n Roses. To be fair I think he pulled it off. Really we just want to write good solid classic rock songs. It’s all a work in progress and anyone who says they are the finished article is talking shite. We are getting there though.
Absolutely! What has been the highlight so far?
[Phil] It’s a cliched response, but we honestly love every moment. The longer we play the more exciting it becomes. It’s great to progress as a band and to be part of the unsigned music scene.
[Jon] Hearing our songs played on internet radio in the south of the US as that area is such a huge influence to us.
[Ben] I hate to admit this, but, seeing the songs that Matt and I have written be performed by the guys in the band who I totally rate as the best musicians I have ever played with. …I hate them all on a social level…
Fantastic! Any plans for some shows?
[Charlie] We are very excited about a tour in the US next year. We are currently in talks with the Whisky a go go in LA, …we’ve asked them if we can play and they have said yes. Basically, it’s mecca for Rock n Roll bands. Hopefully we will be there in September of next year.
[Phil] Regardless of the US tour, we’ve already confirmed a number of gigs across the UK for 2017 which may become a small tour in itself.
That sounds really exciting! I can’t wait to hear more about it. Is there anything you would like to say?
Thank you for having us and thank you for everything that you do to promote unsigned bands. Without there being a forum for artists we are all destined to listen to the likes of Simon Cowell’s X Factor brigade.
Thank you! And good luck!
To find out more about Red Light Revival, visit their sites using the links below;
Official Website: http://redlightrevival.co.uk/