RED – Release the Panic
Record Label: Essential Records / Sony
Release Date: February 5th, 2013
If you mention the words “Christian rock” to someone, they’ll either one of two things: they’ll talk about how they enjoy it, or how they absolutely despise it. A lot of people seem to dislike Christian-related anything, and religious undertones aren’t uncommon in music. They’re quite prevalent, but what most people don’t’ realize is there’s a difference between worship and Christian music. Well, let me put it like this – all worship music is Christian, but not all Christian music is worship. Of course when I say worship music, I mean, church music. While I’m not a very religious person, I don’t mind Christian music at all, and this is where Nashville TN Christian hard rock / alternative metal band RED come into play. This is a band that a friend of mine recommended to me because he’s really into this band, and I thought I’d give a stream of the band’s new record Release the Panic a chance, and I was quite surprised when I really enjoyed it. That’s not to say I didn’t go into it with an open mind, but I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as I did. This is a band with predominantly Christian lyrics, but here’s the thing – these are not overly religious lyrics, and therefore, you can take more than one interpretation. They don’t come across as preachy, or forceful, and I really like that. To add onto it, lead vocalist Michael Barnes has one heck of a voice; he’s easily my favorite part of this record, and really can sing. The backing instrumentation is very solid as well, but his vocals easily carry the record. That’s not to say the backing instrumentation is devoid of any creativity or diversity, because it does have some. There are some heavier songs, and some softer, more heartfelt songs on this record, which is great, but Barnes’ vocals are the star of this record. So, with all of that being said, let’s release the panic, and see what makes this record so enjoyable, shall we?
The record begins with the title track “Release the Panic,” and this definitely is a great opening track. It’s one o the heaviest tracks on the record, and really shows off the band’s “metal” side; there are even some screams thrown into this track, but they use them in a very good way to add to the emotion and mood of the song rather just for the heck of it. This song also has very cool lyrics that really set the stage for the record. To me, “releasing the panic” means listening to this whole record, but it’s not a panic in a bad way, either. This is a great opening track, because it gets things going, basically. Second track “Perfect Life” is a song with a great message, too; things are not as perfect as they seem, and people should analyze the world around them. Third track “Die for You” is a track that could have multiple meanings. Some people might think it’s about dying for Christ, or others just may see it as dying for someone they love. That’s the beauty of music, you can take things in more than one way. The next couple of tracks “Damage” and “Same Disease” are very enjoyable tracks, but they do sound a lot alike. They’re a bit heavier, kind of in the same vein as “Release the Panic,” and don’t really do much for me. Next track, “Hold Me Now” is one of the softer tracks that are much more heartfelt and are a bit more “quiet” for the lack of a better word. The same goes for eighth track “So Far Away.” This is a track that hits quite home to me, and easily is my favorite track on the record. The emotion and sincerity in the lyrics just moves me every time, honestly. The last two songs are also quite interesting as well. The former, “Glass House,” has some really cool orchestral elements, and is another “softer” song, but works quite well. It doesn’t do a lot for me, but for what it is, it’s an awesome track. The latter “The Moment We Come Alive” is another good track, and a really nice album closer. While this isn’t a genre I really listen to a lot, and in fact, I barely listen to this genre, this is a great record. There’s a chance it may possibly be on my end of the year list, because I can see myself listening to this in the future. The only complaint I have with this is that it’s a bit too short for me. The regular version is 34 minutes, which isn’t an awful length, but it’s only awful when you really enjoy a record, and this is a record I definitely enjoy. That’s a bit of a nitpick, though, so I can let that go. Nonetheless, this record is great, and definitely worth picking up if you’re a fan of the band, Christian rock, or even just hard rock in general, really.