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Release the Panic


Michael Barnes – Lead Vocals

Anthony Armstrong – Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals

Randy Armstrong – Bass, Piano, Backing Vocals

Joe Rickard – Drums, Percussion


            RED is a Christian Rock band out of Nashville, Tennessee. The band formed in 2004 and has been going strong ever since.  The band’s debut album hit stores in 2006. End of Silence was nominated for a Grammy and did well on the charts including the band’s lead single, “Breathe Into Me,” peaking at #15 on the US Mainstream Charts. The bands second album, Innocence & Instinct, was released in 2009 and debuted at #15 on the Billboard charts. After some tours and a line-up change the band’s third album surfaced in 2011. Until We Have Faces debut at number 2 and their track “Start Again” won a Dove Award in 2011 for Best Rock Recorded Song of the year. They also jumped on the 2011 WinterJam and the Rock Allegiance Tour later that year. RED just recently released their third album, Release the Panic as well as jumping on the 2013 WinterJam tour. The new album runs 10 tracks with the deluxe edition offering up 5 more. They get the album going with the titled cut, “Release the Panic.” The track opens up with a nice rhythm to the drums and a thick bass line. It builds up until the vocals enter and all the while that the track is building its gaining your attention more and more. The vocals scream and growl some, but also includes some clean vocals that sound really good. The overall vibe of the track is great and begins the album in a perfect way. “Perfect Life” is another solid tune that offers up a lyrical pallet that fans can yell right along with the band. The vocals are clear and you can follow them easily while the music grooves. The transitions are clean and the song sounds like on cohesive tune. “Die For You” is another strong track that sounds really good. The track marches around with a clear sound, great guitars, and steady drums. It’s something that many people can get into and really connect with. It might be a star in the making. “Damage” offers up an odd, but attention getting intro. They keep it up throughout the track while they add some effects to the vocals as well. This one draws your attention, but I don't think it holds it after a time or two. “Same Disease” also adds some effects to the vocals, but the bulk of them are clean and natural. They do include more backing vocals in this one which spices the track up. Musically there really isn't anything special, but it’s steady and doesn’t miss a beat. It’s a track that I can see getting some play, but it won’t get skipped to. “Hold Me Now” slows the album down for the first time. The vocal performance will get you chills as the song captivates you. It’s a simple tune that will have people holding their hands up high and closing their eyes to. It will have many people connecting to it. “If We Only” goes to a metal sound with the intro and some of the vocals. They include some extra stuff in the track, but I don't think it’s enough to keep people coming back. The track isn't terrible by any means, but it doesn’t “wow” you or make you come back to it. It will get lost in the shuffle. “So Far Away” slows the album down once again. This passionate sounding tune lifts you up with its lyrics. It will have you closing you eyes just like the first slower tune and enjoying every word and note. Speaking of notes, the music in the tune is simple yet elegant. It will put a smile on your face. “Glass House” opens up with a fast paced intro that includes some extra instruments, but when the vocals come in the track slows the pace slightly. The track offers up offers up clear vocals and a descent sound, but I didn’t feel that it was a star. It fits better in the second tier of things. “The Moment We Come Alive” wraps up the normal version of the record. It is another slower track that features some piano play. It continues along with the clean vocals while adding in some backing vocals. The track glides along with ease and a smooth sound. The transitions are clean and overall the track doesn’t seem to miss a beat. “Love Will Leave a Mark” opens up the deluxe portion of the album. It opens up weird, but then transitions to a quick guitar right before the vocals come strolling in. There are some big note hit vocally, but I think I can see why this one didn’t make the regular album as it just lacks that special element. “As You Go” offers up a cool intro that draws in you close. The vocals then enter without any change to the music. The track is more of an emotional tune than anything else. It has an odd lull in the middle of the track that isn’t really transitioned to well. The transition out of the lull is okay, but it’s hard not to come back from silence. It’s just an okay tune with nothing special. “Hymn For The Missing (Guillotine Remix)” originally appeared on the Until We Have Faces record. The remix is definitely that, a remix. There are beats that would not normally be associated with rock music. The vocals are okay with a little effect on them, but not real big. Most of the extras come on the music side. “Death Of Me (Guillotine Remix)” originally comes to us off the Innocence & Instinct album. It really has a thick computer remix style. It sounds like the dance rap stuff in clubs and honestly doesn’t sound good. There are spots where there is less of the computer crap which sounds better. The vocals are kind of cool, but there is too much extra stuff going on. “Breathe Into Me (Acoustic Remix)” wraps up the deluxe edition. The track is Justas strong as the original. The vocals command you attention and the music is smooth. I really like this acoustic performance. Overall this is a good release. I really like the variety of the songs. There are some fast ones, slower ones as well as some that mix the two. Musically like the vibes that they offer up. The guitars get some spotlight time while the drums change their pace with ease, and addition of the other instruments like the piano top off the tracks that they appear in. The backing vocals also add depth to the tracks that they appear in. I like the vocals in most of the songs, but there are a few times that they seem forced. I think RED continues to grow in terms of maturity and fan base. These guys need some attention.


Rating: 8 out of 10

Tracks to Watch:

Perfect Life, Damage, Hold Me Now


Track List:

  1. Release the Panic
  2. Perfect Life
  3. Die For You
  4. Damage
  5. Same Disease
  6. Hold Me Now
  7. If We Only
  8. So Far Away
  9. Glass House
  10. The Moment We Come Alive


Deluxe Bonus Tracks:

  1. Love Will Leave a Mark
  2. As You Go
  3. Hymn For The Missing (Guillotine Remix)
  4. Death Of Me (Guillotine Remix)
  5. Breathe Into Me (Acoustic Remix)


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