It’s always refreshing to see a group of shaggy haired youngsters defy expectations. While most musicians their age are turning out emo, punk, or nu-metal, The Redwalls have taken a step back and crafted tunes based on their influences: The Beatles, The Faces, and anything British in the sixties.
It’s not that The Redwalls can’t do the emo thing, because they can. They’re just talented enough to skip straight to drafting catchy, classic rock influenced songs.
De Nova, the second album from the Chicago four-piece, is a mature work for a group containing only two members able to legally purchase alcohol. Logan and Justin Baren (guitar and bass), along with Andrew Langer and Been Greeno (guitar and drums), spent most of their early days learning cover songs of British Invasion bands. This influence shows through in each of the dozen songs on De Nova. Fortunately, rather than simply seeming like a tribute to a better time in rock, their idolization has pushed them to channel their love for music into a gleaming homage.
The Redwalls manage to perform complex musical arrangements while deftly carrying intricate harmonies in the foreground of each of the album’s tracks. “On My Way” and “Hung Up On The Way I’m Feeling” have them stretching their rock brains and brawn, standing as solid and evolving works. “Build a Bridge” and “It’s Alright” take things back a notch, working as tributes to straightforward old-school rock radio in the vein of early Beatles. Catchy hooks run rampant on De Nova as well, making tracks like “Thank You” good for repeat listens.
The Redwalls have a unique vision for their age, and with De Nova it’s apparent that that foresight is moving them in the right direction. Despite this, songs like “Falling Down”, however catchy, prove to the audience just how young they are. The establishment has always been an easy target, and in this case is too easy a target. Hopefully, just like their influences,
The Redwalls will continue to mature and evolve, because right now they exemplify rock more than any of the emo and nu-metal acts around.
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