Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Metal Dudes Just Want To Have Fun: Introducing Red Blade

photos: Phil Hovey

When you come right down to it, music should hit you in the pleasure spots in your brain. There should be some sense of fun to it and you should not always be so concerned about how uber-technical or torturously heavy one can play. While there is always room for bands that push the envelope, there is something to be said for a band that just hits you on a visceral level and makes you want to get up and move, whether that be dancing or headbanging, depends on your choice of music.

In metal, the quest for the next extreme sound sometimes sacrifices fun and pleasure for technicality, heaviness or just plain noise. Sometimes the fact that music should be fun and that good songwriting trumps all, gets lost in the shuffle.

Ben Erickson, guitarist for Milford based punk/metal band Red Blade, came to this epiphany after going to multiple metal shows in the past few months.

“We were going to a lot of shows and there were bands that were playing ultra-technical, or really heavy and it seemed like they were playing to the other musicians in the audience. It just wasn’t doing it for us. We wanted to do something more straightforward, be melodic, yet heavy and retain the hook,” said Erickson.
So he recruited his friend, bassist Jon Conine, who he had played with in experimental punk band Electric Bucket, Vulures drummer Dave Parmelee and vocalist Jacob Royer of Horsefeathers and the band was formed earlier this year. They played their first show on March 27 and already have an excellent four song demo making the rounds.

The best way to describe their music is that draws on the best parts of punk and metal and makes it their own. There are tracing of traditional metal bands such as Iron Maiden in the galloping rhythms, along with fuzzed out punkish riffs, the occasional ripping solo as well as catchy hooks and memorable choruses. In a way, they are like Nate Newton of Converge’s other band Doomriders, albeit more New-Wave-Of-British-Heavy-Metal inspired creation. The intent is the same though. They both want to create music people can have fun and headbang to, in the most simplest of ways. It’s just catchy riffs, great vocals and ripping solos. It’s a celebration of metal.

Erickson said when he was writing the music for the demo he was heavily influenced by Iron Maiden, old-school Metallica and Slayer. It shows in the music, because if anything, the demo is an excellent introduction to what this band is all about.

“Cronos” starts off with a horns-worthy riff before breaking out into galloping rhythm with some slightly psychedelic solo accents and some great singing from Royer. “Reconile” is a speedier number, with a more thrash metal influence, while “The End Of Immortal” starts off all doomy before breaking into more of the galloping pace, throwing in a slightly atmospheric breakdown before it finishes with a headbanging riff. “Violent Child” mines a more straight forward hard rock/metal feel and features a wicked solo from Erickson.

The band’s old school ethos will continue when it comes time to record a full length to follow up the demo. In fact, they have plans to keep it very old school when it comes to its production.

“We are going to use no computers on it,” said Conine. “We’re going to do it to analog tape and get the sound of the band playing in a room together. It will be all killer, no filler,” he said.

With their old school approach, and heart in the right places, along with some killer songs the band looks to make an impact on the already burgeoning Connecticut metal scene. In the past few years, it looks like metal has made somewhat of a slight comeback with bands like Ipsissimus, Night Bitch and Pristina making waves inside and outside of the state. If Red Blade continues on the trajectory promised on their demo, it looks like you will be hearing about them soon. They have a lot of potential to be another awesome band from the 203 area code, which bodes well for a band that has one simple mission.

“We want it to be like you see it on stage, and BOOM it hits you, and you get into it and have a good time,” said Erickson. “We are definitely for fans of old school metal.”

Catch them Monday, April 18 2011 at:
Daniel Street
21 Daniel Street
Milford, CT

8:00pm - 21+ - $8 (Buy tickets now)

With (bios from Manic):
Jucifer, founded in Georgia in 1993, are pioneers of the sludge/doom metal two piece. They are notorious for their use of massive amplification, and for their entirely nomadic lifestyle since moving into their tour vehicle a decade ago. Early on, Jucifer shared stages with many underground legends, including Lubricated Goat, Bloodloss (Mark Arm/Mudhoney), Melt Banana, Melvins and Eyehategod. Years based in Athens, Georgia from 1991 until 2001 were pivotal both for Jucifer and the Southern scene itself, which has evolved to strongly reflect bands such as Jucifer and contemporaries Harvey Milk.


CT's own Clearlight Industries blends a huge array of disparate influences into its own eclectic style. Straight ahead rock styles mix with progressive tendencies,doom-influenced rock segues into improvisational space jams.....all brought about with heavy use of electronics and synthesizers giving you an interesting fusion of sounds that is as cohesive as it is bipolar.

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