Redlightmusic - Redlightmusic
by Chris Stum
Unless you lived under a rock during the
mid-nineties grunge/alternative revolution, youre probably long familiar
with the band Candlebox who brought us radio friendly gems such as "Far
Behind" and "You." With three full length albums underneath their belts,
and years of touring to boot, Candlebox called it a day in 1999. The members
proceeded to go into hiding after the bands demise leaving fans thinking
"Whatever happened to those guys in that Far Behind band?"
The wait is now over, with Candlebox lead
singer Kevin Martin forming his own band called The Hiwatts, lead guitarist
Peter Klett has formed his own outfit called Redlight Music. The debut,
self titled album (Digital Musicworks International) from Redlight Music
does not pick up where its more popular counterpart Candlebox had left
off. Instead, Peter Klett has written a collection of songs that do deal
with his personal life and substance abuse ridden past and does not deal
with his Seattle, grunge rock comparisons. Still based in Seattle, Redlight
Music displays that there is life after stardom is long gone, in fact,
the band has taken it one step further and created a fresh, new style they
can completely call their own.
At first listen, its obvious that Kletts
guitar playing has not been hampered in the slightest by the time spent
away from the public eye. The great guitar hooks and arrangements that
helped Candlebox into rock stardom are still there, but what caught me
off guard was that Klett fronts and sings every song on the album. Surprised?,
Yes. Impressed? Well, lets just say that Klett does a serviceable job
of tackling the vocals on the bands first, full length effort. Keep in
mind that with every new beginning, there comes more time to grow. Not
that the vocal performances are bad at all, it just seems that some songs
are presented with monotone melody lines which lack the additional energy
to make this an A+ album.
On the bright side, each song presents
its own identity. From the powerful, lead off single entitled "Say It Again"
all the way to the last song on the album, Redlight Music packs a variety
of sounds and styles that keep it interesting and prevent the use of the
"Next" button on the CD player. The song "Fading Away" presents a Coldplay
meets post grunge style which is refreshing to hear. "The End" and "Hollywood"
are all out rockers with
the emphasis on a strong rhythmic base
laid down by drummer Keith Ryland and bassist Jason Phraner. No lack of
musicianship here, each instrument provides enough movement to make these
songs come alive. Even the use of some keyboards on "Beautiful" and "My
Friend" add a lot of depth around the great guitar work.
What Klett lacks in the dynamic of his
vocals is made up with great lyrics and melodies that are deep and from
the heart. Its obvious that songs such as "A Cigarette" and "Turn It Over"
are odes to personal demons that the guitarist has overcome, while songs
like "My Friend" and "Fading Away" could be taken for conversations with
a struggling friend facing the same addictions. A base to build on, "Hollywood"
and "The End" do offer
up strong melodies that are memorable,
but again lack the vocal dynamic to drive the song home.
It would have been easy for Klett to ride
the coattail of his previous musical outing. Instead, we have the makings
of fresh rock music and the beginnings of a good band to put on your radar
over the next few years. With strong musicians in place, sonic qualities,
and a variety of sounds, Redlight Music has created a signature style of
music for themselves. Peter Klett has done a great job putting the past
Far Behind and continuing on with Redlight Music.
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