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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Red Five - Flash

Name: Red Five
Album: Flash
Year: 1996
Style: Pop-Punk
Similar Bands: Veruca Salt, Garbage, Co-Ed, Breeders, L7, Tilt, Flick, Belly
One Word Review: Polite Grunge in Limbo
Based Out Of: LA, CA
Label: Interscope, Revelation Sistribution

 Flash - Cover, Band Photo, Record
Flash - Back, Lyrics, Record
Flash (1996)
  1. Space 2:36 [*]
  2. Gasoline 2:40
  3. Turn it On 2:21
  4. Lenses 2:47 [*]
  5. Low 3:49
  6. Seven 3:12/
  7. Hold Me Down 2:08
  8. Flash 2:17
  9. In Spite of Me 2:39
  10. Shuffle 1:57
  11. Your Creation 2:02
  12. Making Waves on Future Ocean 3:23
  13. Mr Universe (Hidden track) 
Album Rating (1-10): 8.0

Members & Other Bands:
Matt Wallace - Producer
Tony Phillips - Engineering
David Bianco - Mixing
Mike Bosley - Mixing
Jeff Sheenhan Asst Engineer
Billy Bowers - Asst Engineer
Jamie Seyberth - Asst Mixing Engineer
Betti Carmelini - Vox, Guitar
Jenni McElrath - Vox, Guitar (Mostly Sunny)
Adam Zuckert - Drums (Final Conflict, F-Minus, Matt Costa, Drunk on Crutches)
Mitchell Townsend - Bass (Matt Costa, Killingtons, Dave Hause, Drunk On Crutches, Chuck Ragan)
Hedge Jones - Bass (Coleen Rider)
Stephen Marcussen - Mastering
Sellout! - Management
Anna Statman - A&R
Glen Golden - A&R Coordinator
Priscila Klein - Art Direction
Marina Chavez - Photography

Unknown-ness: I've never heard of this band, but from the cover and band name font, i assume this is power-pop-punk. They just look like the definition of a 1996 band. And red vinyl was a huge plus when looking at this record.

Album Review: 1996 was a rough year for this style of music, as it was being phased out, and not promoted as much anymore as the swing revival began and grungy pop-punk was nearly history. Produced by Faith No More producer Matt Wallace, the fuzzy hooks and catchy melodies would have done pretty well had this been released even a year earlier. Red Five (a Star Wars Reference) even made a second album that sits on a shelf somewhere. But it may have been mostly included in their CD Baby discography release.

“Space” was their single with a bonafide music video on youtube. It begins with a ring and a typical bouncy bass line. The electric guitar chords kick in and the vocals harmonize in polite shouts. The song is dated to 1996, with an angsty “Hey! Get Out Of My Space” as the repeated chorus.
 “Gasoline” motors forth with aggressive guitars and vibrating bass line. The lyrics are slight punctuations along the tempo. The vocals lack the power to sustain the music, and almost seem like an afterthought. This driving song might have been fun to play live, though. And feedback takes the song out after the title-sung-chorus echos in a fade.
“Turn it On” is a fun Nirvana-y-three-chord song in the start, and the energy and straightforwardness evolves the song into a fuzzy Ramones song. The instrumental breakdown comes early, and resets the verse. The harmonies are used as accents, and the dual vocals playfully interchange with each other. It is a well- constructed song, with multiple melody alterations for the catchy three word chorus. It has speed, structure, diversity and hooks galore to make a true pop-punk song.
“Lenses” was also a single, with a music video on youtube as well. It leads off with a dark, driving tone, and monotone vocals. This song tries to capture the time period of grungy alternative style, while trying to bridge what was next: a cleaner, catchier production. It reminds me a little of the band also trapped in the same time period, Flick.
“Low” starts out low and quiet, with a droning one note bass, and slow kick drum. The vocals quietly harmonize, reminding me a little of Belly mixed with the Indigo Girls. The grungy, fuzzy wall of music cascades down for the chorus, but is damned back up for the quieter verse. The song drones on, but gives a platform for the delicate voices of the two lead female vocalists/guitarists.
“Seven” is a driving grunge-pop song. The heavy fuzz is laid on thick, and is peeled back at segmented times to reveal the more basic elements of driving bass and drums. The harmonies fade in and out in short head banging sections. The moments start and stop with a somewhat chaotic flow, making it never really catch a constant groove.

“Hold Me Down” begins with a ringing guitar hook that is then paralleled with a thick sludgy guitar. The song stumbles into a teaser circle pit section that feels like it is about to really pick up, but it quits before it has a chance to get going. Luckily it was just a tease. The second chorus section carries the speed through and repeats the energy until the song ends.
“Flash” starts with Op Ivy/Rancid ringing like guitars. But they are replaced with thicker sounding guitars and the different sections of the song fight for space, and are all given an equal chance, but because of this, the song has a bit of an identity crisis. Again, I bet it was fun live to follow along with the start and stopping of the tempo.
“In Spite of Me” begins with a light, upbeat electrified acoustic guitar. The drums and heavier guitar crash in, but continue the pleasant, empowered atmosphere, reminding me a little of Belly’s “Seal My Fate.” In fact, I bet that is exactly where this song owes its inspiration
“Shuffle” is a pop-punk stomper, sounding appropriate for a Green Day album. The vocals are sung in an angry drunk inspired manner.
“Your Creation” is the first words whispered as the song sneaks into the speakers. It then launches into a speedy onslaught of power drumming and aggressively energetic vocals and fast played fuzzy chords. The melody is a little shouty, but for good measure. It slows down at the end, almost coming to a realization that “on shit, this needs to be over.”
“Making Waves on Future Ocean” slowly (only by comparison) gathers itself with a stomping bass line, and as the vocals cruise up octaves, the tempo picks up. It feels like it will become a straight forward three chord grunge-pop song, but it dips back into the slow, bubbling, stomping verse, building up anticipation, and finishing into the Joan Jett (or more recently, Bleached)-like chorus of the title. It ends the album on a very competent groove, that seems like the band has a lot of potential.
“Mr Universe (Hidden track)” begins on the vinyl a good couple of minutes after the final track. It whispers in saying hey mr universe, and then launches into a perfect definition of aggressive pop-punk. Featuring a quick, fun, catchy melody, with harmonic shouting segments spackled in appropriately. It fully captures the groove and taps that angsty, righteous sentiment that taps any aggression in a fun, energetic positive way.

Stand Out Track: Mr Universe
Turn It On

Links:
Amazon
Discogs
Youtube full album
CD Baby
Allmusic
Rate Your Music
Forgotten Treasures
Mostly Sunny Myspace
CMJ review

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