Southeast local boys, The Dead Reds are back with a stronger sound than ever with the launch of their new album ‘Renegade Genesis’. With a recent line up change, the band seems to have evolved from their earlier style with more personality shining through their lyrics. Gigging around the area, these guys are really making a name for themselves with notable performances at The Joker, The Hope & Ruin and the Latest Music Bar this year drawing in enthusiastic crowds.
Guitarist Max Gibson and drummer Joss Love now join original members Thomas Miles Woodbridge (harmonica/blues harp), Jeremy Green (bass and lead vocals) and spoken-word poet Casper James. The five-some have created this new body of work with an emphasis on current affairs. Listening to it from start to end, the social commentary of British society pins together the personalities of each member to form a unique, overwhelming vehement of sounds. Kicking off with title song, ‘Renegade Genesis’, sounds of a hunt blast through speakers creating an atmosphere of aggression. James bellows the first line of the song, “listen up, you globalist fucks!” grabbing the attention of any listener. The political theme of liberalism is present in each song, weaving in and out of the foreground getting their views and aching for change clear. “This is Mad Max territory,” he continues, pushing the likely dystopian trajectory of the current climate to relevance.
Green leads vocals for the majority of the album, marrying his deep rock sound with thundering bass lines. ‘Disobey’, the second song, sees him sing, “can’t get out of bed, can’t face the day / because I’m over-worked and under paid.” Resonating with most under-30s these days, the song writing is incredibly on point. The promise of yesteryear’s generation being able to walk straight into a career is so very much gone.
The Dead Red’s unmatchable style blasts out during ‘Judgment Day’. Crashing out the opening bars together, this show their listeners of the unity in the band. This one is more of a personal tune as the lyrics state: “they won’t penetrate this skin that holds my soul within.” ‘They’, in this case, could well be in reference to parliamentary decisions, but also societal pressure on the ground coming at the younger generations from all angles.
Flanking the end of the album as well as the beginning, James returns for the rather sombre ‘Adam’s Descent’. Woodbridge’s harmonica teamed with Gibson’s mandolin creates a melancholic feel to this track. Compared to the title song, the anger feels as if it has been tempered out, as the huge, prevalent issue of male mental health seems to be addressed. James mentions, “emasculated examples of men / society strips of strength,” also presenting the notion of how powerless society can be in the hands of parliament. The rich do keep getting richer after all. The observations made throughout the body of work draws to an end with a haunting disdain of the animosity of the human race. James’ previous anger is pacified by a certain sadness as he states, “the dove seeks and olive branch / let love be enough / living is the pain, pausing for its touch.”
‘Renegade Genesis’ is out on Fri 20 May, with a launch party at The Lamb, Lewes.