For what seems like years now, mainstream media attention has focused on many other genres outside of rock. While past generations have proven over time that the rock scene always comes back into the spotlight, it feels like after so many generic and formulaic songs from radio rock stars that the appeal of the genre has lost its luster, and therefore set on the backburner.
Ohio’s Red Sun Rising is one of these examples. Now signed with Razor & Tie and presenting their debut LP Polyester Zeal, these Akron natives come forward with the basics and claim to be natural with their songs. In an interview online at The Prelude Press, front man Mike Protich said:
“We don’t want to reinvent the wheel but we want to bring “rock” music back into the spotlight. Somewhere along the way what, at least this country, considers rock seems formulated and stale. I realize we aren’t doing anything off the wall but we do however focus more on the organic nature of a song and its melodies.”
Following what Protich said, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel in order to make something that people will want. The issue is when you make music just to sell and become successful as opposed to creating your art as a representation of what you are as a musician and what you want your music to represent. Even when using the standard rock instrument lineup this can be achieved.
Over the past month Octane has been playing the album’s first single The Otherside. Using the standard rock setup and aiming for natural and melodic, this was the first look for many at Red Sun Rising.
The slow build from beginning to end is the star of this song. The opening slow guitars chords extending to a build in volume and then hearing the chorus are what really define this track. Lyrically The Otherside is very reminiscent of the grunge days. This track is a great representation of the band and album, but it also feels like it is missing that final punch or hook to make you want to replay the song.
There is something to be said when you are in the moment and not forcing yourself to get loud or shredding strings just to make a song stand out. It makes the song personal. In some instances though this can make the song feel underwhelming and a track like The Otherside can feel that way: underwhelming.
The organic and melodic sound definitely comes in clear in tracks like The Otherside and Push. The vocal delivery in many songs on Polyester Zeal are clear and compliment the song rather than take away focus from the rest of the band. It feels like the band members are grounded and all trying to contribute with each other as opposed as to everyone just doing their separate job and leaving the studio when it’s over.
Listening to Push gives the feeling of being at a small concert venue and hearing a band pick up and start off their set. It has the right amount of intensity and speed and in my opinion is a much better single than The Otherside. It feels like Push has more identity and has more style and substance.
As Polyester Zeal goes on after the first three tracks you do start to notice several similarities, including many of the song titles being repeated over and over in the chorus. While at no point does their feel like there is a lack of quality or talent, there feels like a loss of interest after going down the track list from beginning to end. That lost of interest doesn’t come from the band, but from the person listening.
Sticking to your roots and playing to how you feel in the moment is always an admirable trait, but when the goal is to make music that creates a connection to the listener and that connection can’t be made, it causes a disjoint. The music may not be bad in any way, but the music also doesn’t make you yearn for more.
Overall, Red Sun Rising’s Polyester Zeal is a strong showing of talent and a good introduction to new fans. While not every track isn’t something to write home about, there is proof of potential throughout this album. If you loved hearing The Otherside, then I would suggest checking out a few more tracks before throwing down money.
03. The Otherside
04. My Muse
07. Worlds Away
Red Sun Rising – Polyester Zeal (2015)
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