Red
Release the Panic: Recalibrated


3.0
good

Review

by Clifton J. USER (6 Reviews)
April 29th, 2014 | 100 replies


Release Date: 04/29/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An apology with strings attached.

With Release the Panic, alt-rock giants Red found themselves in an unenviable position. Spurred on by critics and their own musical growth, Red brought on producer Howard Benson and attempted to shed the strings-heavy, nu-metal sound fans grew to expect in favor of a more stripped-down, pop-rock direction. I commend Red on moving forward and trying their hand at different styles (especially in the hook-laden melodies of "Perfect Life" and the electronic beats of "Die For You"), but in the direct wake of the nearly-flawless Until We Have Faces, Release the Panic disappointed fans.

Release the Panic: Recalibrated is pure and simple fan service. By "recalibrating" six tracks from the album and adding one B-side, Red are apologizing for pushing into territory that was never theirs for the taking. The treatment includes layers of melodramatic strings atop the heavier songs and a more thorough remixing of the softer ones. The result is subtler than many listeners will expect from a remix project, but fortunately it greatly improves the final product. The title track is the standout; the guitar work is by no means bad, but they just do not have the necessary grunt to carry the entire song, and the complex string harmonies result in a fullness that was not present in the original. "Glass House" is a significantly more dynamic track after the "recalibration," despite sounding a bit like a filler track on RTP. Neither "Hold Me Now" and "So Far Away" are truly improved by the remixing, but neither are they hurt by it. The album's closing number, "As You Go," is relentlessly catchy and serves as one of Red's best album closing tracks, greatly overshadowing RTP's forgettable "The Moment We Come Alive." The only awkward remix on the album is "Damage," which, as one of the strongest offerings on RTP, needed absolutely no additions - and the result is decidedly subtractive.

The lone newcomer to the track listing is opener "Run and Escape," which, surely to the delight of fans, is very much drawn from the vein of Innocence and Instinct. The unusual song structure, abrupt tempo changes, and unique chord progressions coalesce into one of Red's most solid offerings on any album. Why the band put aside this gem in recording RTP is anyone's guess. Its only shortcoming is production; whereas previous producer Rob Graves can mix extremely bass-heavy guitars with astounding clarity, Howard Benson unfortunately cannot. Still, "Run and Escape" is nothing less than a fantastic album opener.

Some might discredit Recalibrated with being disingenuous; a product of a band that no longer understands its strengths or its weaknesses. And perhaps, at times, the additions do feel somewhat forced and arbitrary. But on its own, Recalibrated is a shorter, mostly fluff-free, improved retelling of a story Red stumbled through the first time. If Recalibrated's "Run and Escape," "Release the Panic," and "As You Go," have anything to tell us, it is that Red listens to their fans, and, for once, the fans were right. Apology accepted, Red.



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user ratings (22)
Chart.
2.9
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Toondude10
April 29th 2014


4442 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Damn you! You stole my spot.

Good review though, but I disagree hard.

Digging: Periphery - Periphery II: This Time It's Personal

Toondude10
April 29th 2014


4442 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Really any criticism for this from me is that the second paragraph is rather general in a few areas like on when you talk about the As You Go remix. You're just stating, "it's better than that other song." I'd be more descriptive on those things.

nearly-flawless Until We Have Faces


Also I call bullshit on that.

ASnideReturns
April 29th 2014


5241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Sorry I gotta agree on UWHF being nearly flawless. (I have their first three albums at a 5)

Good review.

Toondude10
April 29th 2014


4442 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Dude, you have to listen to non-mainstream music more often.

Green Baron
April 29th 2014


20325 Comments


I still don't want their perfect life.

Toondude10
April 29th 2014


4442 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

that's like 90% of their fanbase right now

ScuroFantasma
April 29th 2014


2535 Comments


good review

Digging: Kyuss - Blues for the Red Sun

GiantSpeck
April 29th 2014


206 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Until We Have Faces was sorely front-heavy. It takes a turn for the worse after "Buried Beneath" and doesn't really recover.

TooManyFriends
April 30th 2014


763 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Who the hell listened to the mix on this thing and said "yeah, this sounds great!"? The guitars and drums are whisper quiet. Hold Me Now is the worst offender. You can't hear anything

ASnideReturns
April 30th 2014


5241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Giant. How can you say that when Hymn for the Missing is the last track.

GiantSpeck
April 30th 2014


206 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

It's not a terrible song, but it does not make up for the filler that precedes it.

Toondude10
April 30th 2014


4442 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Something tells me that you wouldn't like post-rock Speck.

GiantSpeck
April 30th 2014


206 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Examples?

Toondude10
April 30th 2014


4442 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Godspeed You! Black Emporer, God Is An Astronaut, Mogwai, Cloud Kicker, just to name a few.

GiantSpeck
May 1st 2014


206 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

I do enjoy a good instrumental tune from time to time; a lot of the stuff you mention is a bit slow, though. I did like Cloud Kicker, though. What sparked the thought of me not liking post rock?

fromtheinside
May 1st 2014


19155 Comments


nearly-flawless Until We Have Faces

good god what on earth???

Digging: Techno Animal - The Brotherhood of the Bomb

Toondude10
May 1st 2014


4442 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

^

SharkTooth
May 1st 2014


6484 Comments


" a lot of the stuff you mention is a bit slow,"
that is the wonderful world of post-rock my friend,
it's slooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow

Digging: Boylan - ima rockstar im not a rockstar

Toondude10
May 1st 2014


4442 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

exactly, listen to some Godspeed You! Black Emporer. Especially Skinny Fists, that shit is phenomonal. Some of the best stuff I've ever listened to, period.

RogueNine
May 2nd 2014


1413 Comments


UWHF is not nearly flawless. Having said that, it's much better than this site would like you to believe.



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