Redgrave, National Act

Redgrave, <I>National Act</I>

Oftentimes I feel like music is judged too harshly based upon what it sounds like, rather than how it actually sounds. On one hand, you could have a band that sounds like The Beatles and think of that however you choose — good or bad, do you like it or not? — but if the band is just kind of going through the motions and making the music for reasons that aren’t pure, then you might not like the music even if you are willing to listen to something that sounds like a Beatles rip-off.

Far too frequently, bands and especially female vocalists simply get lumped together in categories with those who came before them. But can you really blame a seemingly new female singer coming out for sounding like one of the only few choices she has to look up to in a dwindling sea of musicians? So, naturally, to say that the songs of Red Grave sound like Blondie, Heart, Joan Jett, and Janis Joplin is an easy conclusion to come to, possibly even without listening to them. If you’re a young female singer forming a relatively new band and you don’t sound like Joan Jett in any way, I think something might be wrong with you.

The musical side of Red Grave completely backs up any notion of what you might have in terms of what the accompanying female vocals sound like. But it’s that very same music that makes me not want to simply brush this off as sounding too familiar. Yes, this music is flat out rock ‘n’ roll that could be easily likened to bands of the past; however, it has one quality that a lot of bands today seem to lack: passion.

The term “passion” gets thrown around a lot, especially since there was a whole genre of music called “emo,” but Red Grave has what is genuine passion, not just the word that is used to describe a music scene. This band isn’t singing and playing their instruments to make a hit record. They’re not doing this to be liked and adored by millions. They’re not looking for that commercial success or trying too hard to appeal to anyone.

Every guitar chord and note belted out of the singer’s mouth shows that this band is doing this simply because they love it and they have it inside of them. I know what it’s like to have something inside of you that you just need to get out, whether or not you are paid for it.

Yes, it’d be nice to be paid so you can live comfortably, but at the same time, I would write for free if it meant I could write, simply because I have these words inside of me that I need to get out. Even if no one ever read a single word that I wrote, I would still write them all.

And that’s the vibe I get from this band, just by listening to this five-song EP. I truly believe that they would be making these songs even if no one was ever going to listen to them. That’s the impression that I get from this music, and it’s one that I rarely get.

(Lovitt Records -- Post Office Box 100248, Arlington, VA. 22210-9998;; Redgrave --; Redgrave (Facebook) --
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Review by . Review posted Monday, February 25th, 2013. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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