You know what really pisses me off as of late? Bands that are overly built up in the press and fall flat when you see them live, that’s what! You go to a show on the advice of others, trusting that what you are about to hear and see will fulfill the expectations you have set for the experience you are about to have. I mean is it me or are there an insane amount of bands that just can’t put on a good show anymore?! Well just recently, I came face to face with a group that surprised the hell out me.
RED SUN RISING is not “really” new to the game we call rock. They originated a whisker over a decade ago, but they didn’t fully jump into the active rock world until after they signed to Razor & Tie Records back in 2014. Now, I can honestly say this band doesn’t come across as inexperienced by any means. If you were not familiar with their upbringing, you would assume that they were 30 years in. I know that you might scoff at that considering there are so many bands in the same segment as Red Sun Rising. So much so that you could get confused on who you were actually listening to. If you were to look out across a current chart listing, the names would all bleed together, like a Sharpie on a sheet of paper. This band stands out in my mind because there seems to be something different about them. Is it an artistic sensibility that drives them? Yes, they can get in your face lyrically, so don’t think they are all peace love and happiness; regardless what their logo’d merch might suggest. Their art drives an internal aggression it seems, and a dark one at that.
That spins us fast forward to their recent full-length release ‘Thread’. This record is an example of a band hitting their stride artistically, plain and simple. There seems to be a real effort to step away from the obvious vanilla taste of the others in their genre. The track “Deathwish” puts a real hard foot forward to that mantra. This song approaches topical with a darkness that pulls at you throughout.
Their other standout “Fascination” pulls slow tonal and melancholy cues from The Cranberries’ “Zombie” but hot-rodded up with a bit of a stringed bite. Is the homage blatant? I don’t think so. I find it honest coming from a band that might be coming to terms with who they really are. We are all made up of many parts; some make a bigger impact than others do. If you look back over the band’s previous hits off ‘Polyester Zeal’, they always seemed to be exploring who they are and what they are comprised of.
RED SUN RISING is currently out on their own headlining tour in support of ‘Thread’, and I think it is the best thing that they could have done for the band’s progression. While they were out on tour opening up for POP EVIL back a few years, they couldn’t spread their intellectual wings enough. After seeing them perform in Dallas, this band needs to be let loose to meander as needed. To clarify a bit, this band doesn’t work well playing second or third fiddle. That isn’t because they are too pompous to follow, but rather they are really best with no ceiling to hold them down!
If you get the chance to go and see this band, do not second-guess your opportunity. Just as they have seemingly come to terms with themselves, you need to follow where the art takes you.