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Redlight Halo
Make Your Maker
The Local Cannery Recording Company
www.redlighthalo.com


Redlight Halo pulls no punches on their EP Make Your Maker. From track one, this band sets the bar high with sheer energy and aggression. Their sound is defined by harsh vocals and guitar lines surrounded by pounding drums and bass, which results in a knock you senseless approach to music. They pull it off quite well, but being heavy handed with the music has its drawbacks as well as advantages, and it is up to the listener to decide if they like it or not.

I like it because it is uninhibited in its progress; it just moves forward. Yet it is solid in what it maintains, a sort-of post-punk hardcore that attempts to hold you with interesting melodies- but doesn't have enough hooks to put it over the top. The real problem with the material is that it takes too long to get in to. I must have listened to this album at least five times before I really started to get where this band was coming from.

That said, there is some meat here, it just takes time to find it. The exception to this generalization is "Pollyanna's Dead"; this song should be on every radio station out there because it is just that good. It reminds me of Jawbreaker in a really good way. With "Non-practicing Diabetic" and "Rabbit Got a Gun" there are additional glimmers of greatness that are abused by the harshness of the other songs.

When it comes to the production of the album, there are some really impressive feats that I rarely see other places. For one, all instruments can be heard and adored without losing the drive of the other instruments. A lot of "Guitar-rock" albums sacrifice the bass and drums for clearer emphasis on the cutting nature of the guitars. Not so here, I don't know how they did it, but the bass and drums maintain perfect exposure while the guitars lose none of their edge. That's a rarity in and of itself. Additionally, the subtle difference of distortion chosen for the guitars is enough to put the guitar lines over the top without making the sound monotonous across the album. Nicely done.

Overall the album is constructed nicely, overshadowing certain deficiencies in songwriting, and it is purposely rough around the edges to add to the well-established effect. It is ultimately up to the listener to decide if it is too abrasive for himself. It was right on the edge for me, but the more I listened to it the more I liked it.

-bishop

Track Listing:

1. Lemonade
2. Make Your Maker
3. Pollyanna's Dead
4. Non-Practicing Diabetic
5. Rabbit Got A Gun
6. Ronnie


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Mike Doughty



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