Red City Radio - To the Sons & Daughters of Woody Guthrie (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Red City Radio

To the Sons & Daughters of Woody Guthrie (2009)

The Independent Record Company

Listening to Red City Radio's To the Sons & Daughters of Woody Guthrie EP, it's a bit of a shock the band signed with Eyeball. This is exactly the type of gravelly, upbeat punk rock with a market already cornered by No Idea and Kiss of Death. Some bands just do it better than others, though, and I guess Red City Radio are doing it so well that a bigger label noticed and stepped up to the plate for them.

This EP, released by another smaller label with a self-explanatory "Grizzled Pop" sticker on the front, is definitely one of the better examples of it in recent memory. There is indeed a glass-gargling member here, but there's also a more strained sounding guy who sometimes sounds like Paddy Costello (particularly the "It's the irony of being an American / support your troops so we can piss on a veteran" couplet in "No One Believes in Moons & Goochers"), giving a great dynamic to the whole thing. The general carmraderie and energy here gives Latterman, New Bruises and Hot Water Music fans in general new reasons to continue breathing.

But it never really sounds too cheeky. There's more downbeat, cautious moments of optimism present in places like "We Are the Sons of Woody Guthrie" ("I'm just tryin' to find a better way out, I'm just tryin' to find a better way out"). Classy backing "whoa"s and layered vocals cleverly make up "If All Else Fails Play Dead."

A little more versatility here and there and this band will definitely go places. As is, the frills are virtually non-existent and this is basically just smartly played and written punk rock that Fest fans always hope for.

Where We're Going We Don't Need Roads
No One Believes in Moons & Goochers
We Are the Sons of Woody Guthrie