Red City Radio - Titles (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Red City Radio

Titles (2013)

Paper and Plastick

Red City Radio established a well-laid structure on The Dangers of Standing Still and you got the feeling that with some fine-tuning, they could be onto bigger things. It was a record beloved by their fans, and they've now responded through their sophomore full-length Titles to any pressure they may have felt. Well, fans can breathe easily as Red City Radio have never sounded better.

Paul Pendley's gruff vocals form the spine of RCR, with his guitars blending perfectly into those of Garrett Dale. They remind me so much of Bathurst with their more weathered take on pop-punk, which comes off even louder and more unique given that bassist Jonathan Knight and drummer Dallas Tidwell chime in on vocals as well. This mixed array of voices prove most absorbing, adding to the rhythm and harmonies they create. "A Version Of Events" highlights this with narrow hooks, stomping bass lines and a blistering punk essence. Anchored in catchy riffs, it's a more grizzled effect brought on by three and four-chord riffs atop sly solos. There's a less distorted effect on Titles when compared to RCR's other work that turns out to be a masterstroke.

"Show Me On The Doll Where The Music Touched You" starts off with a neat, but highly uncharacteristic ballad-esque intro. Then, Tidwell's lightning fast drum-work thunders in, creeping into their multi-vocal chants. 'I am fucking unstoppable, I am a fucking juggernaut' shows the bravado and enthusiasm they pour in. This track is, simply put. Red City Radio at their most charismatic and anthemic.

The band display more aggression on the harsher "A Joke With No Words" before resting in a calmer, relaxed atmosphere on "I'll Take A Mile." Red City Radio stream a lot of cynical, personal and vulnerable themes through each of these tracks. In expressing their opinions and sometimes vitriolic views on the world, their feelings and faith in rock n' roll resonate powerfully.

"The Silence Between" once more follows the band's calmer routine and as a more conventional breather, it accentuates the record's end with ease. You can affiliate this album to the need for Red City Radio to make that extra step, and no matter what bands get thrown to the gallows or hammered with disparaging remarks due to existing too far on the pop side of pop-punk, rest assured that RCR won't be one of them. On Titles, Red City Radio throw enough nods to punk connoisseurs while dancing in the not-so-shallow shores of what makes them so spunky and badass.