The Redwalls release De Nova
Looking for "the next big thing" in rock 'n' roll? Look no further, because Capitol Records has found it.
The Redwalls, comprising vocalist/guitarist Logan Baren, vocalist/bassist Justin Baren, vocalist/guitarist Andrew Langer, and drummer Ben Greeno, have emerged out of Deerfield, Ill., as one of the few bands in today's popular-music scene that offers listeners a unique musical experience. Eclectic in their musical background, the Redwalls incorporate an amalgam of musical styles to create a new, revamped form of rock 'n' roll on their new CD, De Nova.
Although the oldest member of the Redwalls is only 22, the rockers prove on De Nova that their musicianship is far more mature than their ages would suggest. The band accomplishes, for example, a feat not common in today's music: different musical styles in each song. The CD begins with "Robinson Crusoe," equipped with in-your-face crunchy blues guitar and heart-pounding rhythms, which are beautifully blended to create a melting pot of Chuck Berry blues and Ramones punk, keeping the passion and energy alive in the music. Vocal harmonies and keyboards dominate the CD's second song, "Falling Down," giving it a style reminiscent of the pop rock of Green Day and Blink-182.
Having grown up listening to the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and the Beatles, the Redwalls also pay homage to their Brit-rock roots. "Thank You" is based on a smooth R&B groove that reminds listeners of Zeppelin's "The Lemon Song." Baren shouts during the chorus, "Thank you for lovin' me, cuz you and me are gonna be all right," revealing the optimism and innocence of being young and famous, an emotion which frequently emerged in the music of Zeppelin and the Stones.
Towards the halfway point, the pace changes with "Hung Up on The Way I'm Feeling," which combines Pink Floyd ambience and Beatles pop with touches of Grateful Dead psychedelics. It is on this number that the album's producer, Rob Schnapf (The Vines, Beck), really shines. Schnapf cleverly creates an echo effect on the drums to generate the illusion that the band is really playing in a big stadium. This gives the music a spacey, psychedelic effect. The guitars are not as heavy as they were towards the beginning of the record, and the lyrics no longer evoke a young and naive image. In fact, the lyrics reflect a sentimental, more emotional [ITAL]etat d'esprit[ITAL], as revealed in the song's title. The band has shifted moods on the spot, all the while maintaining the authenticity and sincerity of their music.
That mood is carried through when the Redwalls pay homage to Bob Dylan in their politically charged anthem "Glory of War," an acoustic number that lacks the ferocity of Bob Dylan's songs of protest, but replaces it with Baren's aggressive, perceptive voice, matched with smooth synthesizer textures and simple yet well-played guitar.
De Nova then closes with an under-two-minute whirlwind rock anthem, appropriately dubbed "Rock & Roll." The upbeat vocal harmonies and pounding drums are all glued together by Baren's chant, "C'mon, little girl, I'll teach you how to rock 'n' roll." By the end of the track ? and the end of the CD ? it's safe to say that the Redwalls could teach all of us a thing or two about true rock.
"We never fit in.... What we do is play rock 'n' roll," explains Baren. The Redwalls, young and talented, have a bright future ahead of them. It's the outsiders, after all, who always throw the revolutions.