- Tiana Speter
ALBUM REVIEW: RedHook - 'Postcard From A Living Hell'
ARTIST: RedHook | ALBUM: Postcard From A Living Hell
With more firepower than an atomic blast, the debut album Postcard From A Living Hell from Sydney's RedHook is a triumphant and technicolour mutant wonderland, catapulting between teeth-gnashing ferocity, melodic wizardry and a staggering amount of heart.
When the phrase "hotly anticipated" doesn't even come close to covering the feverish expectations surrounding Sydney genre-chameleons RedHook and their debut full-length out today, it seems fitting that their brand new album's title partially lends itself to the hottest place imaginable. But, as the album showcases with each passing track, hell can indeed take devastating form in our own day-to-day life, and it's the measured vulnerability and frank discussion of demons, internal and external, that dazzle just as bright if not more so than the revolving door of delicious and eclectic genres, including metal, alt-rock, pop punk, EDM, metalcore, pop, nu metal and beyond throughout Postcard From A Living Hell.
Kicking off with Postcard Xo, Postcard From A Living Hell wastes no time establishing the RedHook smouldering charm and hard-hitting thematics that have seen them increasingly in demand, including a recent run with The Smashing Pumpkins, significant airplay and festivals galore in their wake. Bouncing with sharp sonic claws, Postcard Xo whirls dark pop, alt-rock and crushing arrangements alongside significantly poignant and powerhouse lyricism from vocalist Emmy Mack, delving into depression, guilt, shame and self-harm. Maintaining and mainlining the established intensity immediately into Jabberwocky, RedHook delve into a heartbreaking anthem tinged with driving guitars, electronic hues and a sawing breakdown. Inspired by the Alice In Wonderland fictional monster, as well as real-life events in Mack's past, Jabberwocky is an agonizing yet powerful reflection of sexual harrassment from a female's perspective.
The Alice In Wonderland themes continue via the rave-ready Off With Your Head, bustling with frustration and gleeful heaviness that claws at industrial flavours alongside electronic moments, while The Critic erupts into chiseled earworm territory like a barbwire-covered lollipop. And marking two of the three features on Postcard From A Living Hell, midway tracks Imposter, featuring Yours Truly, and Soju, featuring Sly Withers, utilise the utmost strengths of all involved, with the former gifting a fist-pumping breakup anthem alongside the latter's memorable expansion of the RedHook realms, complete with pop punk singalong moments and spicy saxophone solos.
From here RedHook treat us to searing metalcore served with a side of rap (Psych Vs. Psych), a full-bodied glitched-out nu metal blitz aimed at online bullies (Low Budget Horror) and macabre, sinewy synth pop dalliances (An Intervention), before penultimate track Inarticulate, featuring The Faim sways into relatively calmer sonic waters, showcasing an assured yet softer side to the RedHook MO. But it's nothing but upbeat vibrancy, buzzing guitars and irresistible hooks to close out Postcard From A Living Hell as the RedHook crew bring it on home via the anti-misogyny belter SAY; a track that'll irrevocably get you fired up and ready to take on the world.
Unsurprisingly, Postcard From A Living Hell is a colourful and powerful musical firecracker from one of the most exciting bands on the scene right now. The hooks are plentiful, the production (courtesy of Stevie Knight and RedHook's own Craig Wilkinson) and mixing (courtesy of the legendary James Paul Wisner) are nothing short of stellar, and the driving heartbeat of vocalist Emmy Mack as she growls, glimmers and grows throughout each track is a captivating journey in itself, particularly as Mack consistently bares her soul to the gorier moments in life. But there are no victims behind Postcard From A Living Hell, unless you count the amount of sore necks bound to result from the album's many heart-stopping breakdowns and beats. Instead, this is ultimately an album that will rattle the demons and bewitch the ears and soul while also declaring RedHook's rightful place on the throne of innovation and beautiful mayhem. And when your first-ever full-length album is this sensational, imagine what we've got in store from this lot as they venture even deeper down the rabbit hole beyond this first chapter. The mailman won't know what hit him, go give this postcard an unholy amount of spins.
REDHOOK'S BRAND NEW ALBUM POSTCARD FROM A LIVING HELL IS OUT NOW.
FOR MORE INFO, HEAD TO: www.weareredhook.com
YOU CAN ALSO CATCH REDHOOK LIVE IN ACTION ON THEIR BIGGEST NATIONAL HEADLINE TOUR YET, PRESENTED BY TRIPLE J.
REDHOOK 'POSTCARD FROM A LIVING HELL' TOUR 2023 With special guests Bad/Love, Belle Haven and Grenade Jumper Tickets available via www.weareredhook.com
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BY TIANA SPETER