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Red Tape Parade - Ballads of the Flexible Bullet (Cover Artwork)

Red Tape Parade

Red Tape Parade: Ballads of the Flexible BulletBallads of the Flexible Bullet (2008)
Europe

Reviewer Rating: 3.5


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

Following the same incendiary rule book as Strike Anywhere -- lyrical fusillades of socio-political fury, pounding uptempo drumming and spirited sing-alongs of solidarity -- Red Tape Parade's debut, Ballads of the Flexible Bullet is a solid yet lengthy effort. With Ballads, Red Tape Parade leaves.
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Following the same incendiary rule book as Strike Anywhere -- lyrical fusillades of socio-political fury, pounding uptempo drumming and spirited sing-alongs of solidarity -- Red Tape Parade's debut, Ballads of the Flexible Bullet is a solid yet lengthy effort.

With Ballads, Red Tape Parade leaves lots of room for growing; the variety of influences -- though sub-generic -- don't guarantee any set sound, opening many doors to possible directions in the future. That's not to say it's unfocused or inconsistent. Whether it's the ardent, almost screamo-esque choruses of "Neutron" or the Lagwagon-worthy proficiency of "Great Escape," the band surprisingly doesn't sound too all over the place.

"Deadleaves" has the vocalist, Wauz, shredding his vocal cords before the catchy outro of interweaving octaves and arpeggios. Here, Wauz sounds a little like an exaggerated Fat Mike with a wider range. The choruses of "Great Escape" even sound like something of the Fat Wreck variety with its melodic singing and speedy drums. With more typical hardcore tracks like "Theme Song" and "Less Than a Minute," Wauz forgets Fatty for high-register screams in the same vein as Dennis Lyxzén. Behind it all, the instrumentation comprises of some really catchy rythmns, shifty, old-school hardcore power chords and lots of harmonized layers. There are even some dynamic post-punk-like bridges as displayed in "One Cup of Coffee."

The only real downfall is how blunt the lyrics get. The band's ode to being old, "Old Guys" spits out spitefully disappointing lines like: "growing old is just as bad [as growing up] / sometimes it's even worse / that's why I wrote this song." Also, the aforementioned lengthiness of the album becomes apparent 11 tracks in; the band accomplished everything I could want up until the end of the anthemic "Fingerprints," which has the potential to be one of the best closers I've heard in a while. The songs that follow (with the exception of the crucial "Dead Letter") just seem redundant.

With all that was mentioned, laced together with atmospheric samples from "Shawshank Redemption," "Unbreakable" and "Lost" (to name very few), Ballads of the Flexible Bullet sounds fairly mature for a debut. There isn't much they need to tweak, so things are moving in Red Tape Parade's favor for whatever comes next.

 

 
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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.
android (December 22, 2008)

right.I like that movie.

mattramone (December 22, 2008)

I think you're all forgetting about a wonderful little picture called Christine...

mikexdude (December 21, 2008)

Maximum overdrive was incredible! In that campy, this movie is really bad way.

His shining remake was horrible.

android (December 21, 2008)

he only directed one movie himself though:maximum overdrive.
and that movie really sucks big time.

mikexdude (December 21, 2008)

I like the movies based on his books that weren't directed by him. The Mist, Shawshank, Shining, Green Mile, etc. Except maybe Salems Lot was better than the book and so was Carrie.

also "fingerprints" is the best song on this album, and one of my favorites for the year

Backed. Song is literally flawless.

android (December 21, 2008)

Mike, I think you are the first person I know to like the movies better than the books.except for Shawshank,The Mist,Stand By Me,The Green Mile and maybe the first half of The Stand, most or all of the movies based on his work are total crap.

thesandwiches (December 21, 2008)

I don't see what this has to do with the sandwiches?

also "fingerprints" is the best song on this album, and one of my favorites for the year.

mikexdude (December 20, 2008)

Wauz is cool. But I think he'd be even cooler if his last name really was Kenobi.

mattramone (December 20, 2008)

I think you forgot to mention that Wauz is also part of the mighty Sandwiches. He's also the coolest German I know, of the three I do. That man can eat sausage like a machine.

I haven't heard this yet but I assume it's amazing.

mikexdude (December 20, 2008)

Two days? Really? Wow. I think the movies based off his books are better than the books usually. Pet Sematary was bad either way.

android (December 20, 2008)

haha you´re crazy!I read the stand in 2 days.one of his best books next to "it" and the dark tower series.

mikexdude (December 20, 2008)

Oh, and the shining was horrible! And I've come the conclusion that Stephen King just likes to hear himself talk. I got halfway through the stand and I was done with him forever.

mikexdude (December 20, 2008)

Sorry! When I uploaded it, that's all that came up. They're not all blunt, I just like consistency.

android (December 20, 2008)

nice review,mike!thanks.
do you think our lyrics are blunt in general or just that particular line? that song is called "the old guys will have their say" though, not just "old guys" , mocking that SSD title...maybe you´ll like the lyrics more when you are old,slow and strange too...haha. "the shining" is a great book.that´s a fact.the whole album is full of stephen king references.

mikexdude (December 20, 2008)

The Shining was a horrible book: fact.

CCSummers (December 20, 2008)

singer sounds like the dude from the knockdown

mikexdude (December 20, 2008)

I knew you could find the words, Mikey.

I didn't think it was possible to get writers block with describing. Oh well...

mikexdude (December 20, 2008)

There never can be enough mikexdude.

ivano (December 20, 2008)

Props to the guys for the album title, a quote from one of Stephen King's best efforts ever. Psychological thriller/paranoia filled short novel. Also, haven't heard the record yet, but i know it will be damn good, just like the ep.
Score is cos i trust'em

eazyd2 (December 20, 2008)

nees less mikexdude

bryne (December 19, 2008)

I knew you could find the words, Mikey.

chrisafi (December 19, 2008)

I was surprised when I found out these guys were German. Crazyness.

I actually think they sound abit like Millencolin. Unfortunatly not in a good way

mikexdude (December 19, 2008)

spirited sing-alongs of solidarity

My Brian Shultz impersonation.

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