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Red Orchestra Radio - The Electric Sleep (Cover Artwork)

Red Orchestra Radio

Red Orchestra Radio: The Electric SleepThe Electric Sleep (2004)
Feeling Faint

Reviewer Rating: 2.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
(others by this writer | submit your own)


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Just ask Tom Delonge what happens when a band tries to do too much. When they try to use too many delay pedals, when they draw the songs out much longer than need be, or when they just add a lot of unnecessary elements to an album to give it that ??epic,' grandiose feel. Even he himself may not admit the pitfalls of taking such actions, but most who heard We Don't Need to Whisper would certainly speak of the problems those actions present.

Well, many of the same problems on that record are problems on Red Orchestra Radio's The Electric Sleep as well. They almost mirror each other, the exception being the vocals of Ben Lowe versus the vocals of Tom Delonge. The former fares much better in this kind of setting, because he can actually change his inflections to match the song's rhythm at that time. He's got a very honest quality to his sound that could easily call to mind Daryl Palumbo in the moments he's not shredding his vocal cords in two.

So for those counting at home, that's one member of the band who's doing a good job on the record and contributing his talents in the best possible light. The problems arise because there's six people in this band -- that's five who aren't doing anything of real merit and five who don't quite grasp the concept of brevity.

The shortest song of the six present on the album is right around the four-and-a-half-minute mark, with three of the other five at at least five minutes, the longest going over 13. For a band who can keep the songwriting interesting for that long, alright, but Red Orchestra Radio simply recycle a lot of the same guitar tones and tremelo effects in a different order, hoping no one will really pay any mind to it.

"Hypogenic Hallucination" begins with some twinkling guitars and light tapping of the cymbals, before Lowe's soaring vocals enter the fold and the guitars pick it up a couple notches. Sounds alright, doesn't it? Well it is, but the problems are a result of this same pattern being repeated a couple times throughout the course of the song; it simply loses its novelty. Bits and pieces of the instrumentation are spectacular, but the track as a whole lacks the dynamics it needs to stay interesting throughout. By the time it concludes, it feels like half an hour's gone by. That's the problem they keep running into. They'll have some great individual ideas, but try too hard to take things to an epic scale, and not quite hard enough to keep it grounded at keep it interesting.

Whether it was too much ambition, or just the inability to understand how too make long song structures work, Red Orchestra Radio simply tried for too much. I know there's talent in the band, I can feel the hunger in Ben Lowe's voice, but they couldn't pull it all together and make anything more than decent background music.

 


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Rudedog (January 19, 2007)

Red Orchestra Radio's Electric Sleep EP - like the guitar layering - like the lyrics/vocals - good first effort - with addition of former Codeseven guitarist newer unreleased songs (check out MySpace) are more refined. more good sounds from North Carolina.

Anchors (January 18, 2007)

I appreciate the kind words man, you said pretty much exactly what I would've anyhow.

Anonymous (January 18, 2007)

Penis Vagina North Carolina!

Anonymous (January 18, 2007)

there's nothing more punk than doubting someone elses punkness...

SilentStorms (January 18, 2007)

"Ben Lowe plays guitar...
You guys are as uninformed as you are misled by pop and mass media. Nothing about "Punknews" is punk. You go into your review mentioning one of the members from Blink 182 and the pitfalls of too many effects, which leaves a real big question for me; Is this "Punknews" or "PopPunknews". As for song duration, if you can't sit for 7 minutes but are too much of a pussy for a 1 minute song (I read some of the other reviews and was equally underwhelmed by your taste in music) then that tells the average reader a lot about you. You apparently can't handle development in music (which shows a lack of intellectuality) and you aren't punk enough to actually think about the origins of punk (the one minute song). Furthermore, punk is about NOT fitting into the surrounding mold, and you have done your best to pan everything that dosen't fall into the MTV style format of 4 "four minute song, hook in the first 30 seconds"... Anyway, thought you should know that you are everything that the origional punk rock scene condemned"

Dude, considering Anchors listens to stuff like Envy, Buried Inside, and Funeral Diner - he can definately keep his attention on a song for more than 4 minutes without a hook or MTV pop vocals. We all know that punk rock has changed over the past couple of years, but to assume that we "are misled by pop and mass media" is kind of a stretch. Serious. You obviously love this record or play in the band, but to jump on someone for their musical tastes and attempt to undercut their entire love for music is a little, how do you say, elitist and contemptuous, ah yes. Remember that the internet has given people a voice, and although their view may not coincide with yours, music is SUBJECTIVE. Sorry Anchors, I know you can defend yourself but that comment was a little too much. Oh and I've never listened to this band, so I'm being as Objective as I can be. Score is for the comment below.

Anonymous (January 17, 2007)

Ben Lowe plays guitar...
You guys are as uninformed as you are misled by pop and mass media. Nothing about "Punknews" is punk. You go into your review mentioning one of the members from Blink 182 and the pitfalls of too many effects, which leaves a real big question for me; Is this "Punknews" or "PopPunknews". As for song duration, if you can't sit for 7 minutes but are too much of a pussy for a 1 minute song (I read some of the other reviews and was equally underwhelmed by your taste in music) then that tells the average reader a lot about you. You apparently can't handle development in music (which shows a lack of intellectuality) and you aren't punk enough to actually think about the origins of punk (the one minute song). Furthermore, punk is about NOT fitting into the surrounding mold, and you have done your best to pan everything that dosen't fall into the MTV style format of 4 "four minute song, hook in the first 30 seconds"... Anyway, thought you should know that you are everything that the origional punk rock scene condemned

Amazingthemike (January 17, 2007)

This came out in 2006, not 2004.

Deadpan (January 16, 2007)

Actually, when did this come out? The nature of promos confuses me, especially because I can't remember the press pack mentioning the release date. Oh well.

Deadpan (January 16, 2007)

Wtf? I just reviewed this for something else literally like, this week. Except it's not been put up anywhere yet. Odd coincidence.

But yeah, this is fucking boring, basically. Although, I wouldn't even say the vocals were any good. Atonal nu-metal whining, seemingly incapable of sincerity. And it's all too fucking long.

Anonymous (January 16, 2007)

to clearify i wasnt the anonymous before -CHRIS

Anonymous (January 16, 2007)

tis true my name is Chris Chafin and I did the vocals on this album, I love reading peoples honest reviews it gives you the fuel to strive to make better music.

OverDefined (January 16, 2007)

That was a pretty dickhead comment dude. In an entire ocen of dickheads it takes a lot to stand out. Kudos dickhead.

Anonymous (January 16, 2007)

Dear Anchors....
Stop reviewing records.
Go home.
Hot glue yourself to the bottom of your bathtub and drown yourself.
Oh yeah, Ben Lowe is the GUITAR player.
oops?
Chris Chafin is the vocalist.
I would make you a award out of tin foil and glitter I think I will rather bungee jump the golden gate bridge with my dick.
cheers!

Anonymous (January 16, 2007)

think you mean "ROR"

Ollywood (January 16, 2007)

fuck, my chain ot killed

canaandrumz (January 16, 2007)

I like that the acronymn spells "RAR" sounds fierce.

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