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Redlightmusic - Redlightmusic
by Chris Stum

Unless you lived under a rock during the mid-nineties grunge/alternative revolution, you’re 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 it’s 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, it’s obvious that Klett’s 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, let’s 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. It’s obvious that songs such as "A Cigarette" and "Turn It Over" are ode’s 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.

Redlightmusic - Redlightmusic
Label: Digital Musicworks International
Rating: 
 
Tracks:
Say It Again
Fading Away
I Found You
Hollywood
Beautiful
Face the Day
A Cigarette
In The End
Terrified
Turn It Over
In The Dark
My Friend
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