Second Story Man – Red Glows Brighter
Release Date: August 29, 2006
Label: Landmark Recordings
The liner notes of Second Story Man’s second full length read like a Who’s Who of Louisville music. There’s Ryan Patterson, Coliseum frontman and Black Cross guitarist. Thommy Browne, drummer for 90's hardcore stalwarts By The Grace of God (Victory), among other notable acts. Kevin Ratterman, of likely the best emo/indie rock band to ever come out of the city, Elliott. No doubt, Second Story Man has made credible friends over their near decade run in the local music scene. Ratterman even let the quartet record Red Glows Brighter in his family’s funeral home, which doubles as a music studio when it’s not dealing in death.
Given the setting for the recording, it’s fitting that the album’s best track is a bohemian dirge. “Cancer Dance” starts out with eerily whispered male vocals over building minimalist percussion, Neumayer (the band’s fem) harmonizes with the whisper at the halfway mark and the track progresses into its afterlife of slow chant played over a repetitive guitar riff and a lazy jingle bell.
The strength of Second Story Man has long been the band’s vocal interplay and on Red Glows Brighter the effort is at its most cohesive point. All four members share vocal duties and each has a strong, distinct piece of the puzzle. It’s been four years since SSM put out their first album, Pins and Needles. Red Glows Brighter is to be the record that launches their music into the stratosphere of their aforementioned friends’ bands. The team of SSM has clearly labored in the space between albums and the result is a handful of sexy, organic pop that will please the Polyvinyl/K Records set along with those of us who are still lamenting the before-their-time loss of The Anniversary.
No corpses were harmed in the making of this album: “Cancer Dance”, “Catalyst”
Gender equity is indie rock’s cause: New Pornographers, Saturday Looks Good To Me, The Anniversary