Red Racer’s Debut "Define" Speeds From The Starting Line
With opening track “Define” Red Racer kick off their debut album with all the pace and energy punk demands, however it’s an incredibly high momentum that doesn’t carry all the way through the album.
I’m a big fan of the chaps from Red Racer. John, Sean and Jesse produce an edgy, pacey, energetic sound that demands attention and their debut Define opens with such ferocious wake-up call it sets a pace for the rest of the album that would test the stamina of any band.
The title track “Define” was how we came to know Red Racer, earning them a NAOTD feature on Subba-Cultcha, so when we were asked whether we’d like to review the album it was a no-brainer.
Now I need to make you aware that I’m not the biggest punk fan in the world. I’m a fan of some of the more mainstream bands that define this genre; The Clash, Sex Pistols and The Ramones but I wouldn’t be the first person to hold my hand up and offer to review the latest hardcore punk offering.
However, I think this is what sets Red Racer apart from the norm. They’re appeal is much wider than just the punk purists, their sound, although it includes the trashing guitars, thumping drums alongside loud and harsh vocals, is slightly more Indie based and would align more with something similar to Greenday or QOTSA rather than the Pistols.
This works for me as I’m a big fan of Greenday! In fact the first half of the album has a number of awesome tracks to sink your teeth into. As I previously mentioned, “Define” stands out for me as does the following track “Put It Out” and “Feed” carries on the pace and momentum.
However where I feel the album takes a slightly unexpected turn is towards the later stages “Serpiente” and the last song “Such A Long Way”. They’re good tracks don’t get me wrong, but they lack the momentum of the earlier half of the album and it almost seems like the band have had to take a bit of a breather after putting so much into the first tracks. Although "Cover Me" does up the tempo slightly it sits between "How Does it Feel" and "Serpiente" which slow right down.
For me it’s a slight shame, as Red Racer provide a wholly accessible raw and unadulterated sound that propels the listener into what is a fantastic introduction to the bands music. Once energised and ready for more white knuckle tracks the album goes onto provide a slightly disappointing finish.
To conclude, I will be listening to the album many more times mainly for the opening tracks, I would recommend others do the same and I think hearing the tracks in a live setting would be phenomenal. I just hope the ending of the album doesn’t leave anyone else with a slightly deflated view of Red Racer as they have proved that with the right track they can be defined as a fantastic indie punk band that have the power to deliver on every level.
Words by Mark Jennings