In the strictest sense, there isn't anything entirely new on the new Red extended player. "Hemorrage" is a cover of the 2000 song by the post-grunge band, Fuel. The Red-penned tracks, "The Evening Hate" and "From the Ashes," were both released as singles this summer. And the remaining two cuts are alternate versions of the aforementioned singles. Once you get past that point, though, what's left is, to varying degrees, pretty impressive. The standard iterations of "The Evening Hate" and "From the Ashes" infuse the band's characteristically sludgy, slightly-dissonant rhythms with a better than average set of hooks and just enough orchestration to keep fans of the first two records happy. The alternate takes - so often tacked onto projects like this merely to entice diehard fans - turn out to be even more noteworthy since their stripped-back textures allow for a better appreciation of both the subtleties of the songs' underlying melodies and the power and clarity of Michael Barnes' vocals. The mostly straightforward Fuel cover, though, is where the band really comes into its own, thanks to Barnes' passionate (but not overly so) delivery and a beautifully sublime instrumental accompaniment that may well make some listeners wonder if this sort of melodic alt-rock isn't where the band's underlying strength truly lies.
- 10/17/19 Bert Gangl