Sunday, July 19, 2009
Red Collar - Show Preview - Lava Lounge 7/23 - Album Review "Pilgrim"
Red Collar are coming to the Lava Lounge in the Southside on Thursday, 7/23. First, I want to mention the blog Jason Kutchma (lead singer) keeps on the band's website. Its a very well written, insightful blog that shows a band being unguarded of the troubles and difficulties just trying for a little success. There is a very interesting entry about what happened to them the last time they were in Pittsburgh (2 months ago) at the same time the Pens were on their Stanley Cup run (do a search on Pittsburgh). It's a bit long but well worth the read.
Red Collar are a four piece based out of Durham, NC although 2 members are originally from the PA West area. They are described as Fugazi meeting the Hold Steady which you can definitely hear on their album Pilgrim. They are known for their intense live shows no matter what the crowd size. If you search youtube you can see what a fun live act they are. At times the album comes off sounding like a bar band with talking point lyrics (ala Hold Steady) and much heavier rifts. You feel the force and compassion come through (ala Fugazi) with the same DIY attitude and no backing label.
Red Collar recently gave up their day jobs and decided to take a chance as a rock band. You can here the regret on the opening track "Commuter" where the lyrics suggest disappointment with the 9-5 drag. Lyrics "A job that pays for the garage for the car/that picks up the kid that watches the kid/while I work this job". It starts out mellow before kicking in with intensity and stout vocals. "Tool" is another standout track that begins out slowly before bringing in robust rifts that power the song into its staple sound. Similar in the vein of Craig Finn (Hold Steady) the lyrics begin more of as a talking point, "Oh f*ck! Not this shit again! I had a map and a plan but I'm lost, I'm lost. Follow mother's advice or daddy's course. They thought they knew love before the divorce." You feel the frustration and despair coming through the headphones.
All of the songs on the record come with an intensity and DIY ethos that has the feel of old Dischord Records from years past. A definite theme emerges off the record of being confused and wondering if this is what life is all about. They should put on an entertaining show. Below is the title track off their album 'Pilgrim'.