Through two full lengths, and various EPs and splits, Red City Radio have aways echoed the passionate origins of punk music. Passion here meaning fierce engagement and dedication, kinetic motion over passivity. It’s displayed in RCR’s baseline, urgent tempo and in their subject matter; ranging from 2009’s “Where We’re Going We Don’t Need Roads” about investing in community and place, to 2013’s unapologetic ode to the road, “The Silence Between.”
One amicable lineup change apart from 2013’s Titles, Red City Radio have returned with “Electricity”, the first taste of their forthcoming self-titled album. While a mid-career self-titled albums are often grandiose, nuanced or at least specifically timed statements “Electricity” errs more towards simplicity than subtext. A lean and clean bass melody introduces the song with a rhythmic focus that suits RCR well. “Electricity”’s centerpiece is a surging, catchy chorus that would sound at home on either of their past full lengths. Nested within are lines like “we were out of our minds, wild and lonely / just a bunch of wanna be punks who didn’t know shit” and “there’s no easy way but if I could speak with you today /I’d let you know that I’m proud of you still”. It’s a nostalgic song about the passage of time, and the lasting power of memory, complete with Red City Radio’s endearingly gritty emphases.
In a nutshell, “Electricity” doesn’t feel like the introduction to a band with a new mission. Instead, it hints that Red City Radio have strengthened rather than redefined their MO. Which, with a track record like theirs, only predicts good things coming down the line.
Punk | Staple Records