Red City Radio
Red City Radio
(Staple Records)

Oklahoma’s favorite good-time punks Red City Radio is back with its third record, and it seems there’s a bit of controversy. Last year guitarist/vocalist Paul Pendley left the band, and to top things off, the band’s self-titled record sees Red City Radio going pop. This is everyone’s worst nightmare: a favorite band losing a band member and its identity at the same time. Fear not, though, for the soul of Red City Radio is still there. In fact, this may be the most soulful of any of the band’s records. This new-found melodic element is more than welcome.

Red City Radio sounds more like a natural maturation from the band than an outright departure. It’s more in line with how The Gaslight Anthem embraced their inner Jersey rock more with each release. Red City Radio has gone all-in with tunes meant to be screamed by dudes (and dudettes, of course) in their 20s and 30s. These are heartfelt anthems, each and every one of the songs. Hell, try your hardest not to singalong to the chorus of “In the Meantime…”; I’ll be shocked if you can resist joining in that immensely catchy hook. That’s where we’re left: sure, Red City Radio has embraced a more melodic and “mature” sound on its third album; yet, this is still the same band who takes you on a journey with each song, basically demanding the listener to join in and sing. Can we ask a band to do anything else as they age? (Nicholas Senior)

Purchase Red City Radio here.

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