It’s been two years since Red City Radio released their debut full-length, The Dangers of Standing Still. Boasting heart-on-sleeve confessionals and gravelly, yet catchy sing-alongs, the album straddled the difficult line between ferocity and melody.
Now, the Oklahoma City punk quartet have released “Show Me On the Doll Where the Music Touched You,” a song off of their upcoming album Titles. The record will be released Oct. 15 via Paper + Plastick Records.
The track begins with a vulnerable, yet captivating vocal introduction from singer/guitarist Garrett Dale. Lines like “And I’ve heard smarter men than me say that it gets dark before the dawn/And I can’t wait until the morning to admit that something’s wrong” are instant lyrical standouts.
One of this song’s greatest strengths is its dynamics. A sparse intro builds into a focused attack of muted power chords and anxious drumming. Drummer Dallas Tidwell plays an understated but integral role. His fills and rhythmic bursts do a great job of controlling the ebb and flow of the song. The guitar solo is pop punk perfection: simple, but infectious. The surrounding instrumentation carries the song perfectly.
On paper, the closing refrains of “I am a f***ing juggernaut” would seem lyrically trite. However, it is the band’s impassioned gang vocal delivery that makes the line resonate strongly with the listener. Dale’s gravelly bellow is softened by some incredible vocal harmonies from his bandmates.
While “Show Me On the Doll…” manages to deviate slightly from the typical punk song structure, the band is not stepping too far out of its comfort zone. The gritty vocal delivery and pop-punk harmonies are still there. The downtrodden yet uplifting lyrics are still there. But at the end of the day, this is not a band that needs to step too far out of its comfort zone.
All in all, they are doing what they do best: simple, yet earnest lyrics delivered passionately over a frenzy of melodious distortion. This song was a great preview to give fans anticipating the new record. It shows Red City Radio on their A-game. Hopefully, Titles will follow suit.