Ok, everyone likes a little full-throttle rock reminder. This is a truth, sometimes you just want something that makes you sweat or want to drive a car, fast. Red Racer, a new group consisting of three members (John Hogg, Jesse Wood, Sean Genockey), who have been in and around the music industry for long time. In addition they are backed by/ have collaborated with artists from both The Eagles of Death Metal (rumored to put on some of the greatest live shows in rock and roll), and Queens of the Stone Age (I don’t need to say anything to remind you of their legendary status)- to create their first album, Define, in a style which is both “indie” and reminiscent of an era when “arena rock” wasn’t quite the joke it is now.
To truly understand the sound of this collaboration, it is important to note that it was conceived in the U.K, but recorded at the Rancho De La Luna studio in the desert of Joshua Tree, C.A. I mention this because setting is important for these songs, you can hear the classic “desert rock” throwback, lyrically simple songs for near-endless open roads and harsh flat land. The beats are excellent: tight and concise, providing a great backdrop to their shaved-down classic rock approach to guitar. If I close my eyes and let this record take over my speakers with its decibels, the album is HUGE. I mean seriously, this thing was recorded so loud it could rival a Dirty South rapper’s attempt at trunk rattling.
Vocally the group proudly employs some tried-and-true punk approaches: shouts with a little distortion and plenty of snarl. If you listen to the 6th track, “Good Times”, the attitude is suddenly just a bit Bowie (with a blown-out menacing grin). The following track, “How does it Feel?”, asks all of its questions with the best combination of these styles, probably my favorite of the album. Lyrically they do not attempt anything complicated, but this allows for some catchy, easy “singalong” material.
Ultimately, this album is a great listen. They have approached music from well-recognized stances, but it isn’t boringly familiar. It’s interestingly familiar. It’s an easy pill to swallow that takes you to a good place (viva la “drugs, sex, and rock-and-roll”). At least two of the songs should make it to the playlist for your next cross-country road trip.
Define was released 3rd November via Dissention Records.