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In the Red - Volume 2 (Cover Artwork)

In the Red

In the Red: Volume 2Volume 2 (2009)
Suburban Home Records

Reviewer Rating: 1.5
User Rating:


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

I've got all the respect in the world for Mike Hale as a musician, but In the Red became boring virtually overnight. The band's debut, Volume 1 was a solid collection of emotional punk rock that displayed a distinguishable maturation for Hale from his days in Gunmoll (don't take my word for it, go l.
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I've got all the respect in the world for Mike Hale as a musician, but In the Red became boring virtually overnight. The band's debut, Volume 1 was a solid collection of emotional punk rock that displayed a distinguishable maturation for Hale from his days in Gunmoll (don't take my word for it, go listen to it now). So what happened when the band was writing and recording Volume 2? Did these guys purchase a radio and start listening to all the emotionless, bland tripe played on it and say to each other, "Yeah, that sounds about right"? Don't get me wrong -- I'll always have a nostalgic place in my heart for grunge as a springboard to bigger and better things in terms of musical taste; but frankly, 'new grunge' is right up there with 'electro emo' as the last things I want to hear these days.

The tone of this review is a little more scathing than I originally intended, so allow me to clarify: Volume 2 isn't completely horrible. In fact, it's probably worlds better than anything else that passes for 'new grunge' these days. But...I just don't understand it. Artist intent always counts for something, and there's little doubt that this is the record that In the Red truly wanted to make, but it's hard to believe when the finished product sounds this uninspired and formulaic.

Volume 2 isn't completely devoid of highlights; the chorus of "Unlaced" is undeniably catchy, and the sweeping, melodic "The Drakes" is done quite well. The driving, crunchy "First Evil Twin" is about the closest In the Red comes to channeling the sound they did so well on Volume 1, and the rolling drums that anchor "Jet Breaker" are a decent change of pace from all of the slowly paced, middle-of-the-road crap that surrounds it.

For what I would assume is supposed to be a rock record, there ain't a whole lot of rockin' happening on Volume 2; other than the few standout moments I mentioned in the previous paragraph, the rest of this record dabbles in safe, middling, slow-paced balladry, replete with tired riffs and painfully conventional song structures (and there's a lot of it, too; this thing is 44 freakin' minutes long). The distanced, muffled production doesn't exactly help matters, either. This record could be a lot louder and punchier than it is, although it's obviously impossible to know if that would improve the listening experience.

Volume 2 is a complete 180 in the wrong direction for In the Red from where they were a year ago. I'm not sure anyone could've seen a regression of this magnitude coming so quickly; it's almost more shocking than it is disappointing. Or shockingly disappointing, perhaps. Keep Volume 1 and your Gunmoll records; throw out/delete this one.

 

 
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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.
xote (April 16, 2009)

I like their split with Genrevolta but haven't heard anything else. Actually I may have another split or ep or something but that split is pretty cool and the only thing that stands out to me.

ben_conoley (April 16, 2009)

I like it. Very much.

BADASSMOFO (April 15, 2009)

So I take it no one has been reading about his life on this website and actually making the connection to the lyrics? What a shame.

I think this is a great rock album. Definitely not a punk album. Just a rock album with obvious punk influences. The bass on the album is definitely amazing.

Try cranking track 8 in a car stereo.

icapped2pac (April 15, 2009)

Forgive the slight spammage, but I really think most people who dig these guys (or Volume 1 at least) could get into another favorite band of the moment of mine. You can download their EP for free, too.

http://www.myspace.com/iamthethief

14theroad (April 15, 2009)

Pretty bummed about this review. I really like Gunmoll and Vol. 1, but none of what I heard off this.

inagreendase (April 14, 2009)

what people don't realize is that if a band puts out a record and it rules, than they put out another record just like the last one, people think they suck because "oh now all their shit sounds the same"

A Wilhelm Scream hasn't really made a huge stylistic leap from one album to the next dating back to 2004. But they've still gotten progressively better while very slightly tweaking what they do. So it's definitely possible.

llmp (April 14, 2009)

Dead on review. The only song I liked on this was "The Drakes". So disappointed.

bryne (April 14, 2009)

you may or may not be into this album, but i definitely don't think it deserves being called "crap". you really think so or was that just cool to say... if you want volume 1 again, than go listen to volume 1. if you want gunmoll again, than go listen to gunmoll. this is a different band, totally in every way.

what people don't realize is that if a band puts out a record and it rules, than they put out another record just like the last one, people think they suck because "oh now all their shit sounds the same"... but if they manage to put out an album that sounds like the band but different from the last album(s) then people think they suck because "oh they sound totally different now, they've changed"... change is good. every band that can pull that off and still sound like the same band has done something great. it's art. some people love, same don't, but this isn't crap... oh wait, my opinions are getting in the way... too bad hot water didn't record forever and counting five times in a row, that wouldn't have been boring at all.


The point, you're missing it.

I get that the band is different. I do. This incarnation/period/representation of the band, however, is not as good as the previous ones have been. I'm all for bands displaying a healthy progression from release to release (who wouldn't be?). This record is not a progression. Change for the better is good. Change for the worse or change just for the sake of change is often not. This record is not a change for the better, it's a change for the boring-er.

Never in this review did I explicitly say, or even imply that I wanted another Volume 1, or another Gunmoll record. The fact that you inferred that confirms your failure at reading comprehension. I really just wanted a solid, enjoyable record; that's not what I got.

But it's all a matter of opinion, something that's part of what we have to offer as reviewers, whether you or anyone else likes it or not.

ontherocks (April 14, 2009)

you may or may not be into this album, but i definitely don't think it deserves being called "crap". you really think so or was that just cool to say... if you want volume 1 again, than go listen to volume 1. if you want gunmoll again, than go listen to gunmoll. this is a different band, totally in every way.

what people don't realize is that if a band puts out a record and it rules, than they put out another record just like the last one, people think they suck because "oh now all their shit sounds the same"... but if they manage to put out an album that sounds like the band but different from the last album(s) then people think they suck because "oh they sound totally different now, they've changed"... change is good. every band that can pull that off and still sound like the same band has done something great. it's art. some people love, same don't, but this isn't crap... oh wait, my opinions are getting in the way... too bad hot water didn't record forever and counting five times in a row, that wouldn't have been boring at all.

Blackjaw_x (April 14, 2009)

I think 3/10 is a perfectly reasonable score for this album on a site about punk music. The score is relative to the other bands on here (the ones the majority cares about anyway, not Brokencyde). Gunmoll gets an 8/10 so by that I would definitely give this a 3/10. It's not saying that it makes up the lower third of all music of all-time, because it's clearly better than mostly anything you will hear on popular radio... but we already knew that. If it was up against the top 40, Gunmoll would need a 10/10 and this would almost need that too. But then that would indicate that they're equally good, which they're not. It's all relative, ya dig? I hope you get what I mean because I feel like I've repeated myself a lot despite there being only a few sentences here.

kneel (April 14, 2009)

i thought it was a good album, straight from the heart.

that having been said, i much prefer the more punk-rock oriented vol 1... but this album is very good in and of itself.

i understand the reviewer's sentiment but i think its too harsh.

bryne (April 14, 2009)

It wasn't that bad of an album. You make it seem like they're Brokencyde bad with that rating.

I think we can all agree that Brokencyde is on a completely different grading system as everything else.

mattramone (April 14, 2009)

Way harsh. This is better than some of the other albums that get a three...

MN_punkmaster-skaman (April 14, 2009)

It wasn't that bad of an album. You make it seem like they're Brokencyde bad with that rating.

ChokingVictim (April 14, 2009)

not horrible, but pales in comparison to volume 1.

preston (April 14, 2009)

I'm reserving my score until I've had more listens, but I don't like this one nearly as much as Volume 1.

mikexdude (April 14, 2009)

Rough, Bryne. I like it.

Blackjaw_x (April 14, 2009)

Good review, though your use of genre terms is going to piss people off and make them miss the point - that this album is boring.

flowerfeeder (April 14, 2009)

This review is a little too harsh. It doesn't live up to Gunmoll's brilliant records or even Volume 1, but it isn't terrible either.

To me, it sounds like Mike wrote a shitload of acoustic songs and then just decided to record electric versions of half of them to release as Volume 2 and the rest unplugged as Lives Like Mine.

eazyd2 (April 14, 2009)

im very suprised a negative review was posted for this cocksucker. i thought you guys were like BFF!! score is for his boring ass tour blogs.

saladfingers (April 14, 2009)

I have to agree with the review.

This record is lacking of anything that will make me listen to it again. Ever

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