Until We Have Faces

Written by: PP on 11/02/2011 05:59:38

If I were to tell you Red is a Christian-leaning band from Nashville, Tennessee, would you be able to guess the style of music they're playing? Sometimes bands just are that predictable, and hence it's no surprise discovering their third album "Until We Have Faces" to be a standard, typical heavy alternative rock album, also known as post-grunge/nu-metal/mainstream rock in some circles. One sure to sell hundreds of thousands of copies even in this recording climate, if nowhere else than the southern Bible belt area where Nickelback & co have thrived for more than a decade.

Now, that doesn't necessarily have to automatically mean that either "Until We Have Faces" or the band in general should leave a bad taste in your mouth. After all, we've seen successful, modern interpretations of the crunchy nu-metal sound with monster catchy choruses and intelligent songwriting from bands like Chevelle and Taproot, not just on one album but consistently throughout a lengthy career. Not to even mention what Deftones have done with the genre.

These are all examples of artists who have nailed composition down to perfection without sacrificing artistic integrity. At first, "Until We Have Faces" suggests that Red are about to partake in that elite group of heavy alternative rock/metal bands who are able to convince fans and critics alike despite playing a genre that's been buried from public spotlight half a decade ago. "The Faceless", "Feed The Machine" and "Lie To Me (Denial)" all take cues from Chevelle (anyone remember their song "The Red"? Wonder if that's the name inspiration.), Taproot, Trapt and other bands utilizing the crunchy, heavy, but yet so easily accessible chord-based nu-metal, one that's tailor-made for the radio in a very obvious manner but still leaves the listener astounded over just how infectious the melodies are nonetheless.

But as is all too often the case with records like these, "Until We Have Faces" is incredibly front-loaded with hit singles, while the second half of the record has been abandoned to filler and more filler. The idea seems to have been to lay out all the four single candidates out front, and leave the weaker tracks in the part of the record no-one listens to in the days of single-tracks downloads from iTunes. It's a shame, because given how strong of a track "The Faceless" is, it leaves me to question whether Red are just content at making a smart career move and saving the rest of their monster catchy songs for future releases, another habit of lazy bands in this particular style of music, instead of writing a great album in the genre that has longevity potential beyond just the next couple of weeks.


Download: The Faceless, Lie To Me (Denial), Feed The Machine
For the fans of: Chevelle, Taproot, Evans Blue, Trapt
Listen: Myspace

Release date 01.02.2011
Sony Music Entertainment / Essential

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