Review Summary: Chevelle and Red fans can have at it...
Innovation and originality are quite hard to come by these days, especially in mainstream hard rock. Most bands of this particular genre tend to follow in the footsteps of their fathers, adapting and mixing new shades to sounds that everyone has already heard before. Having realized and accepted this, a band by the name of Janus have opted to combine the hard-hitting riffs and vocal styles of their peers--Chevelle and Red--with the keyboard-piano textures of Linkin Park’s earlier days for a new hybrid creature. The result, while technically lacking in a musical sense, actually works to create an active musical landscape that carries and swells behind singer, David Scotney.
The ten songs to be found on Red Right Return
are surprisingly consistent when it comes to vocal hooks and melodies. Songs like the enveloping opener ”Six Letters Sent” and the anthem-like “Skin Deep” tend to reverberate in the listener’s mind for many days after listening; a quality that would surely help their prospects as being future singles. In fact, nearly every song to be found on this debut offers a definitive and catchy hook of some sort; the best of which actually rival some of the best offered by the other bands that Janus draw their influences from. Lead single “Eye Sore” is a real stomper of a track as well, first offering a slice of ambiance before breaking the mood for a simple yet heavy and effective guitar riff. The chorus is extremely catchy, offering reflective lyrics about trying to taper to the world around the singer’s interest.
Lyrical subjects really don’t deviate much from the established mainstream rock standard, though the band does thankfully give us a reprieve from the relationally heavy mood-dampers that are commonly found in albums by other typical rock bands. In their place Janus speaks out against the condemning and judgmental world that opposes the individual, a common position that various punk bands seem to cater to. While this isn’t anything new, per se, the lyrics are presented with a certain abstract and creative element that helps keeps things from settling down within the level of the mundane and pointless.
Slower numbers for hard rock bands are typically hit and miss, as sappy ballads and pretentious attempts run a high risk of potentially handicapping an album. Thankfully, the band don’t disappoint here with the common mistake, as “Maybe Its You” and “Your Arms” are still able to keep up the level of intensity that's found on the rest of Red Right Return
, even if they happen to do so at a slower tempo. In fact, the prior is a particular highlight that literally throws the listener to the floor with its passionate and unexpected second chorus section that seemingly comes out of nowhere. Closer “100 Years” is an apathetic anthem that ends Red Right Return
on a positive note; it throws our hidden intentions into question and features the vocalist’s best delivery to be found here as well.
Janus is a promising hard rock band that is banking all they currently have on this debut. The songwriting, while inexperienced and technically-lacking, is quite consistent, offering possible fans and supporters ten catchy and passionate hard rock songs that utilize what the band has appropriately for a respectable outcome. In summary, Red Right Return
is a great debut that fans of Red or Chevelle will surely eat up. Hopefully, they will continue to progress as a band in the coming years of touring and recording. Who knows? They might just have a legitimate shot at making it through the jungle that is the music market after all.