Retching Red – Get Your Red Wings (CD)

Snotty, loud pseudo-crust punk from California. How could one go wrong? With the first track “Battery Acid” barely cracking one minute, immediately people have to think of M.O.D. and all those thrash-punk bands from the late eighties. Every single lyric is screamed out, the music itself faster than shit, and the mastering surprisingly solid for a band of this type. Each track is fast, unrelenting, simplistic and yet catchy as hell. The guitar lines are sloppy and the bass sputters through at the most opportune of times. Retching Red is thus more of an entity rather than its four constituent members; even during the beginning bass solo of a track like “Day 3” you can hear Cyco Loco waiting for the rest of the band to kick in. Retching Red may be the masters of 1:30-length songs, but as evidenced by the aforementioned “Day 3”, the band just needs to continually change subject matter, topic, and overall sound to maintain their freshness. What is most exciting for me to hear from Retching Red is the aforementioned connection to MOD, which were one of my favorite outfits of the eighties. Retching Red is reminiscent in the way that Cinder Block half-sings, half-shouts eir vocals and Cory tears up each and every track with riffs that would seem to be more in place in a Venom than a punk album (but still makes it work, keeping up the energy throughout the disc).

However, the climax of the disc comes with the insane, sick guitar solo during “Insomnia”, an Agression cover. Can’t say that I am familiar with Agression, but if I hadn’t looked at the lyrics sheet during the track, I would have assumed it was just another impressive Retching Red song. There is no slacking off on “Get Your Red Wings!”; rather, the later tracks (like “Little Loomers”) may even be more intense than its earlier-disc relatives. Spinning the disc to the end with a Gits cover (Spear & Magic Helmet), Retching Red in the space of about a half-hour has made a fan out of me. The whole red-period connection may be done to death on this disc, but I’m also wondering if they aren’t talking about the copious amounts of blood that just have to be shed in the pit if their live sound is anywhere near what can be found on “Get Your Red Wings!”.

Top Tracks: Spear & Magic Helmet, Battery Acid

Rating: 9.0/10

Retching Red – Get Your Red Wings! / 11 Tracks / / / Reviewed 26 January 2005

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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