Leeds-based group Red Light Revival formed in 2006 and reached the finals of the northern Battle of the Bands competition. It’s easy to see why: there’s a lot to relish about their feelgood classic rock output. Their irresistible cocktail of guitars, keyboard, percussion and roared vocals makes for a whole lot of badass fun.
Caustic Soul Protection has a line up of Matt Dibb (vocals and rhythm guitar), Ben Evans (keyboards), Jon Lander (lead guitar), Charles Heppenstall (drums and percussion) and Paul Milligan (bass guitar). It kicks off with Black & Cold, which is a fair indication of the group’s style. We enjoy the imagery, and Matt Dibb’s strong vocals which outshine the backing singers. It’s not the best track on the album, though, and it starts to really hit its stride with Flame, a classic love/lust song, with the wailing lament of electric guitar and a catchy chorus.
If your foot isn’t already tapping it will be by the time of Hillside, one of our favourite tracks on this collection. The suggestion of Spanish influence on the guitar (it flirts with a flamenco style in the introduction) lends it a sultry sheen and its sound is redolent of the 70s output of the Eagles. The verses are linked to one another via fine interplay between guitar and drums.
Locked Out goes for a more Bluesy sound than we’ve heard so far, with spiky keyboard playing from Evans and Dibbs’ vocals at most gravelly we’ve yet heard. It’s a mood that is revisited later in Bad Man, one of the catchiest songs about contemplating violent suicide it’s possible to rock out to. The overtly American-sounding Sweet Lalilia is a homage to the well-established rock tradition of dedicating songs to the idealisation of a woman.
The album rounds out with Indiscretion, which after an esoteric opening that recalls early Pink Floyd, quickly establishes itself in the tradition of punchy classic rock with an edge of metal. It’s certainly the track most likely to see the band smashing their guitars, and is a suitably gutsy and testosterone-laden track to close on. It sees another strong instrumental section of guitar and percussion collaborating.
We were impressed with the homogeneity of sound on the seven tracks of Caustic Soul Protection, and the musicality of the performers. Their sound delivers exactly what it sets out to: original and accessible songs in the classic rock tradition. If you like the genre, you’re guaranteed to rock out to Red Light Revival.
You can find out for yourself because all of these thumping good tracks are free to download from Bandcamp.
For news of gigs and future recordings, follow Red Light Revival on Twitter, @RedLightRevival.