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