Red Collar | Record Review | Indy Week
Pin It

Red Collar 

The Hands Up EP

Listen!

Listen to Red Collar's "Witching Hour" from The Hands Up EP. If you cannot see the music player below, download the free Flash Player.

If the name didn't tip you, it takes about 28 seconds of The Hands Up EP to know exactly who Durham's Red Collar is for and what they're about: "I got my bachelor's/ Got my master's/ I got my doctorate/ Yes, I'm a real go-getter." This isn't a red collar for the working-class conservatives of America; this is the red collar of the blue-collar, progressive proletariat. This may be a red band in a red state, but their symbology is more Lenin and Marx than W and donkeys.

But the five-piece tempers political persuasions with a swill of maturity. The four songs on Hands Up seem less about coercion and condescension than a little paean on behalf of responsibility and decency. There's "Stay," a backlash against grass-is-always-greener escapism, and "Witching Hour," a sardonic caricature of evil's hungry conquest over good. No, Red Collar, led by Jason Kutchma, has evolved beyond scene polemics, and their music—rooted in a purely punk past but married to a mature melodic embrace—follows suit. Somehow, they fuse several great strains of punk—like the power plod of early '80s Boston band Mission of Burma and the scabrous edge of D.C.'s Fugazi—with a wide-open sense of pop. It sounds surprisingly more fresh than forced or marketed.

That's likely because, amidst their politics, Red Collar never forgets why they're here: Check the chorus of the titular opener, which churns at a jagged D.C. clip for the first 100 seconds. The fury slowly folds in on itself, firmaments of protest briefly ceding to reveal a redolent, almost jangly vista of a hook: "There was a time when the world was mine/ if I just stayed on track/ When I answered the call, I wanted it all/ Now, I want it all back," Kutchma, Mike Jackson and Andrew Blass sing together on the hand-clap-worthy chorus, celebrating the over-educated kid who's suddenly realized he may be in too deep. As dangerous as it seems, it sounds as though two of the biggest East Coast acts—R.E.M. and Fugazi—wound up staying in the same hotel off of Interstate 95 somewhere near Fayetteville in 1995. That was Red Medicine time for Fugazi and the post-Monster era for R.E.M.: Rightly, there's snarl to spare by the second here, but Red Collar pulls up just in time to sink the hook. And making those mechanics charming and persuasive, which Red Collar does really well, is a wild gift, indeed.

Red Collar plays Friday, March 2 at 305 South in Durham with The Cassandra Project; Wednesday, March 7 at The Cave in Chapel Hill with Goes Cube; and Friday, March 9 with four bands at Broad Street Café in Durham. For more, see www.myspace.com/redcollarmusic.

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Record Review



Twitter Activity

Comments

Where is the Q and A with Pepper?

by Alex Marsh on Record Review: Hardcore Titans Corrosion of Conformity Bring Pepper Keenan Back Into the Fold (Record Review)

There's bass in this. It's not a duo, at least in the recordings. …

by Steve Grothmann on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

Where is the Q and A with Pepper?

by Alex Marsh on Record Review: Hardcore Titans Corrosion of Conformity Bring Pepper Keenan Back Into the Fold (Record Review)

There's bass in this. It's not a duo, at least in the recordings. …

by Steve Grothmann on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Remember that time the "journalist" took to the comments section to fire off a snarky response when called out on …

by JayDubz on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Pretty sure that if the press release we received had mentioned Chris Grubbs, the article would have reflected that crucial …

by David Klein on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Pretty sure John Meier hasn't been in this band for quite some time and Chris Grubbs wrote and recorded this …

by JayDubz on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation