Red Friday claim to be the inventor of a new genre, "Street Rock" - angsty music you can dance to. This self-proclamation is not befitting of a humble band who's first album was completely free, who treat their fans with the utmost respect and who churn out simple yet amazingly good music. Let's not get carried away guys, this is not a new genre, it's just rock.
That being said, there is not a single other negative thing I could say about these guys or this album. Having given a glowing review of their first album, which was and still is completely free from their website, they successfully gained a fan for life, and I was happy to hand over 8 bucks for this next release of theirs.
With eager ears I listened, sticking to my dad's favourite axiom: "Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and expect nothing". I was hoping for the best and that wasn't what I got on first listen, I felt more like "hmmm, not bad". It was far from the worst, and it exceeded more than satisfactorily the expectation of nothing. For there is something almost ineffable about the way these guys put their music together, the shortness of the songs, the layering, the production, that although may not be a whole new genre, is certainly fresh enough to excite eardrums that have been flogged to death by every type of music out there.
Then I listened again, and again, and again; and "the best" that I had hoped for began to reveal itself. It's one of those albums that simply grows and grows on you the more you listen to it, as you peel the layers of the onion, getting deeper and deeper into the sounds, sweeter and sweeter.
As I've said there is an ineffable magic about this music, something really great that you can't quite put your finger on and can't quite be verbally expressed; but I think one aspect of it is the ability to take idea and expression from the past and not just copy and paste it, but breathe new life into it. Although they say they are the innovators of a whole new genre, the music in fact builds on the various facets of rock music that have come before it and spurns it into a new setting, a new sound for the now truly taken-off new millennium.
On their fan forum The Red Army they have even admitted to using a completely borrowed guitar line from another song, and have turned it into a competition, offering a free signed copy of the CD for the person who recognises the line and what song it's from. There is honesty here and respect, two highly admirable virtues; there is a recognition that those who have come before have made the band what it is, something really special.
Admittedly the "we're a whole new genre" thing annoys me, yet their music is highly original. The downbeat drums, the watery shapeshifting guitar, the hollow soothing voice, the voluptuous bass, all meld together to form something that at once seems far away and detached in tone and effect, yet formidably close in theme and correlation with the audience. Another impressive thing about the band is that this closeness extends towards their personality, making them extremely likeable guys who take a true interest in their fans. This is embodied in the hoards of dedicated street-teamers who help spread the word about every little going on of Red Friday. Combine this fan enthusiasm with solidly good awesome rock, and you've got "The Next Best Thing".
Red Friday's latest album "Worthy Of Lust" is out now available on their website www.redfriday.com
Definitely worth $8. 5 stars.