November 1, 2007


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The Redwalls, The Redwalls
MAD Dragon Records/Ryko, Oct. 23
The inside-baseball stuff here is that MAD Dragon Records is run by Drexel University students, but before you scoff your most sarcastic scoff, they did a Jules Shear record as well as the last Hoots and Hellmouth. The Redwalls chum out straight-up pop-rock with a ’60s bent, singer Logan Baren assigned the same type of mini-Mick role Gregg Alexander devised for the New Radicals — every girl’s name is either Darlin’ or Sister — and therein lies their problem, as the “You Get What You Give” boat sailed while The Redwalls were still in high school (the next mass-market ’60s resurgence isn’t due until 2013 if we’re lucky).

However. These guys have already proven their mettle, having survived a year or so of crazymaking abuse at the hands of Capitol Records, and if you put their songs under a microscope you’ll find pure intentions beyond just getting chicks — there isn’t one tune here that couldn’t have been a Top of the Pops contender back when the stuff was intended to scare adults. A distinct lack of low-end adds to period authenticity but by the same token makes it a bit radio-unfriendly; Oasis is Public Enemy compared to this. B+ Eric W. Saeger