Hailing from Greensboro, the third largest city in North Carolina, the Radio Reds have just released their latest set of recordings, a four track EP titled rightly titled Let it Show.
Opening track “Lucky Strike” is a morbidly beautiful starting point, it’s your typical angsty teenage love song but presented in an entirely unconventional way, tying up dark colours and cure-esque melancholies it brings the storm clouds in with foreboding lyrics like“I’d love you for life If I didn’t hate you to death”. It’s a moody affair and the occasional scuffed beats and squared timings, that might leave you feeling uneasy, just add piss to the vinegar.
“California Snow” is undoubtedly the highlight. A Feedback driven intro with picked arpeggios and tremolo guitar that would be instantly recognizable in a live set. Again, the lyrics are rich in story telling and imagery and serve as a time stopping mid way point for the record.
In some cases Let it Show benefits from a re-visit or two. Tracks like “Disconnected” and “Bedroom Music” can seem a little hollow and out of step with the other two tracks but hold steady after a few listens with “Disconnected” in particular making great use of vocalist Stephen Kent’s bravado. He has a voice that could serve punk rock standards but would be wasted. Broody & eloquent with an almost nu-romantic smoothness that could sit somewhere between The Smiths & Joy Division.
In a throw away generation it’s easy to forget the days where if you didn’t like an album that you’d purchased you’d give it the benefit of the doubt, maybe you’d read the inlay book and try to sing along or maybe you’d just turn it up super loud. Either way, you had no option but to stick with it. These days, with so much music at our finger tips it’s easy to look over something that doesn’t instantly satisfy. The production of Let it Show let’s it down in that respect but those listeners with a little more patience will be rewarded with an EP from a band that although probably don’t realize it are already making challenging punk rock that is both original and enjoyable.
You can grab a copy of Let It Show on Radio Reds bandcamp page below. They also just released a split with The Nondenoms which you can find more details in related articles.