Red Tape Parade

The Third Rail Of Life

Written by: PP on 06/09/2011 05:12:37

Regensburg, Germany-based Red Tape Parade have been garnering lots of critical acclaim for their sophomore full length "The Third Rail Of Life", which is why I've been trying extra hard to wrap my head around the release in trying to understand what exactly makes it so special. At this point in time I've given up because despite dozens and dozens of listens, Red Tape Parade's melancholic punk rock, which contains a slight post-hardcore twist to it, isn't worth writing home about. In fact, it's the perfect example of a dead-on average record by a band that has decent songs, decent instrumentation, decent everything, but never impresses the listener enough to push them over to the 'good' category.

The telling sign of "The Third Rail Of Life"'s mediocrity is its wealth of guest appearances. End Of A Year's Patrick Kindlon, Shook Ones' Scott Freeman, Funeral For A Friend's Matthew Davies-Kreye, and Lagwagon's Joey Cape all make an appearance on the record, each time far surpassing the ability of Red Tape Parade's own vocalist, who lacks charisma and comes across as anonymous and forgettable throughout the album. Joey Cape has the best guest appearance on "Anything Else Is Progress", and nowhere else is the latter notion more clear than here, because the moment it's his turn to sing, the song turns itself around and sounds better straight away. Which says a lot about the ability of the band as a whole.

Regrettably, the same lack of flair applies to their songs, too. Referencing Lagwagon and Boysetsfire equally much, they roll by at medium tempo with little flair, interesting riffs, or melodic hooks to reel in the listener. On the flip side, they are also missing the emotion and aggression that makes Boysetsfire so good at the same genre. So instead, Red Tape Parade sound like a bleaker version of Lagwagon without the humour or the bright riffs, while also lacking any of the good elements from the post-hardcore genre they like to use as inspiration. The lyrics, too, are cliché and boring, and really, there's no other way to refer to this album than as mind-numbingly average.


Download: Anything Else Is Progress, This Is Circle Two
For the fans of: Lagwagon, Good Riddance, Part Time Killer, Boysetsfire
Listen: Myspace

Release date 06.01.2011
Ass-Card Records

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