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Red Tree Religion - Quick n' Dirty (self-released)

16 June 2024

Technology has meant that we are awash with bands these days who drip with slick production and sophisticated sonic textures, bands who have been polished to within an inch of their life. This is okay, if you like that sort of thing, but it is also problematic. First, why create a sound that is so studio-reliant that it doesn’t represent the live experience? Secondly, all that musical polish and poise and pose comes at the expense of the real feeling that lay at the heart of the music. It is the rough edges and jarring changes, the rawness of the music and the abrasive nature that create the attitude and swagger in rock music, not to mention the passion and the honesty; remove that, and what are you left with? Not rock and roll, that’s for sure.

Thankfully, Red Tree Religion is a band fully aware of this, and their latest EP, Quick n’ Dirty is rock and roll with all the grit and groove, bombast and muscle left in. Five songs wander around in the musical morass that sits between garage rock and early punk, music that sacrifices all the unnecessary studio gimmickry for honest, raw and righteous punk-infused rock music.

There are swampy punk blues, such as the opener, “Hot as Hell,” pure, first-wave, fist-in-the-air, foot-on-the-monitor, punkery with “Drinkin’ All Night,” and even room for a slow-paced, snarling slice of spaciousness and seduction in the form of “San Metho.”

Punk’s not dead; it’s just been regrouping, rebuilding, and finding a new place for itself in the modern musical landscape. This EP clearly shows that Red Tree Religion has learned an important secret, one often overlooked by bands: Learning from the music of the past is the best way to plan for the future.