Review Summary: R.I.P.
The reason Red’s fourth proper release Release the Panic
is a complete disgrace to the musical landscape this decade, let alone, music
, in general, consider how insulting it is to their fan base and discography up until this point; here is where I make some clever quip toward the album’s title and how said fans should indeed panic – mission accomplished. Anyway, take your pick which is the greatest blunder following the release of Panic
, because they’re equal in damage and both revel in the same pit of despair. But let’s back up a bit; understanding why Red had some hefty weight on their shoulders preceding this album’s release we need to look at the beginning steps of Red’s slippery career. Starting with the “out-of-nowhere” End of Silence
introduction to the band, we saw Red ride the coattails of more successful bands; they desperately tried to breathe new life into an all but disintegrated genre. Their heavy use of strings and a formidable front man all culminated into a stealth pick for “Best New Radio Rock Artist” from Billboard or Teen Choice. Yet what really cemented their name in the market came with Innocence and Instinct
, a dark concept album that dealt with Dante’s Inferno accompanied with a deft blend of orchestra (nu)metal. A total homerun showcasing the best of what the band could offer: strong lyricism bolstered by a dramatic and exciting vocal performance that flowed sturdily alongside competent instruments. It was a solid one-two punch that left most cautiously apprehensive as to what the bands next move would be. Until We Have Faces
was supposed to be the forgivable misstep in the elevating discography of Red not the hallmark of what’s to come. With Release the Panic
Red have succinctly and resoundingly said to the world “Fu
Some will tell you there are a few gems to be found within Release the Panic
. Others might even say that the second half is a complete turnaround that is the first six turds of the disc. You might, if you search online forums long and hard enough, even come across those that say this is a return to form and Release the Panic
is Red at their finest. Don’t believe any of these people. They lie, and because lying is all the rage right now, they lied to you too. Release the Panic
is what occurs when a band realizes their careers are destined for the same shi
thole as their idols. In this case we have Red and Linkin Park
. I haven’t met a lot of people who listened to LIVING THINGS
, but if I had to guess, I’d say we’ll be hearing that lazy approach to music again in a few years when Red search for some new sound to adopt. Calling Release the Panic
lazy however would be an insult to those who actively search for ways to take lazy to the next level. There are dozens of familiar instances to be heard within the torturous forty minute aural assault among the bands small discography let alone the rest of their contemporaries’. In fact right off the bat the title track serving also as album opener is a severely less interesting version of “Confession”, stand out from Innocence
, and hinders expectations without a nod of consideration to the listeners feelings.
It’s a tiresome voyage from then on. Panic
gives no explanations for its trite execution, apologies, excuses, or rhyme for any of its reasons for being. This is what people heard when Red first came onto the scene, sloppy pop/rock that lingered on boredom offering nothing new. Where fans heard a band drenched with emotion and a sense for existing Panic
sees the same band trying to compound on used ideas for the sake of having more music to fill the air. It’s scenarios like this critics rip apart acts like Papa Roach
, Theory of A Deadman
, all providing nothing
to the stage they’re littering but daring claim that they’re worth their share of the spotlight. Say goodbye to the days Red touted obvious wants to be remarkable and say hello to songs like “Same Disease” a struggle-fest rejected Thousand Foot Krutch
song – certainly uncomfortable territory. “Hold Me Now” addresses its crisis of believing it’s a The Fray
song, and closer “As You Go” is the quietest way to make you forget you’re supposed to be listening to a Rock album.
There are a few directions to take this blame. The most immediate aspect missing from the old effective formula is the abandoning of the string section. Once a blundering force in Red’s sound it truly helped accentuate the band’s sound in all the more intense moments, and carried graceful melodies underneath the bands punch lead heaviness. And then there’s that heaviness; to avoid beating around the bushes, “Where the fu
ck is it?” and why was it traded in for this Daughtry
sound? – Exclusion of strings and all. Admittedly, there are several occurrences where the band sound ready to fire into a fascinating direction, “Damage” comes to mind, but this potential is squandered by the need for repetition. A thoughtless hook wrapped around a lackluster vocal performance and consistency becomes the focal point of a limp excavation toward a dead and buried sound. It’s too bad too because the early stumbling of a band needing to redefine their identity has turned into a band dropping their face and adopting the likeness of all they initially stood out against.