Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: 23/04/2020
For Fans Of: Stand Atlantic, Yours Truly, Vukovi
Warning: This EP contains vast amounts of infectious energy and slaps hard. Side effects can include involuntary body movement, smiling, and in some extreme cases, whiplash. If exposed to this EP, listeners should immediately get the fuck up and seek medical advice at a later date.
While Redhook may have failed to feature such a message on their debut EP Bad Decisions, here at Hardbeat your safety is not our priority, but ensuring you don’t miss out on great new music is. The Australian trio are developing quite the reputation for themselves and this much anticipated release shows the hype was not without good cause. It’s an explosion of alt-rock and pop-punk that you just need to dive head-first into, so what are you waiting for? Let’s go.
Bad Decisions is a bundle of energy that feels as though it cannot be tamed and it’s unforgiving in the way it throws its weight around. ‘I DON’T KEEP UP’ is a track about being the odd-one out, so it seems somewhat fitting that it features a gorgeous but out-of-character saxophone solo. For a record that seems Bart Simpson to the core, the Lisa Simpson sax is a moment to remember. ‘CURE 4 PSYCHO’ rips and roars with Redhook’s trademark sass and attitude, featuring relatable, emotive lyrics that disguise themselves with snap, snarl and a middle finger.
The highlight of the record is the brutally, and at times uncomfortably, honest title-track ‘BAD DECISIONS’’ that sees lead vocalist Emmy Mack reflecting on a time in which she was making some poor choice in her life, and as a result kept spiralling into cycles of self-loathing. It doesn’t feel like the type of track that is intended to garner sympathy, but instead aims to inspire and comfort others who are finding the unpredictable road of adulthood a bumpy one: To know that they aren’t alone in this. It’s a punk singalong at a frightening and thrashing tempo that somehow combines mosh pit-vibes with attending confession.
There are more aspects of this record that have a similar element of catharsis in their performance. Redhook have a lot to say and are going to shout it from the rooftops until someone hears them. The brilliant ‘YOUR HEROS ARE BULLSHIT’ is an example of this, with a Vukovi-esque “Fuck you” engrained in its DNA. Like a toddler having a tantrum, this effort kicks and screams, but in this case there’s not a tear in sight. ‘ALIEN’ is a respite from the chaos as we get a moment to catch our breaths with this effort that really showcases the vocal talent on display. However, there’s no break from the theme of reflecting and self-deprecation, as Mack sings “Why do I always break everything?”
Bad Decisions has so much personality, reflecting the members of the band and where they are in their respective lives. Mistakes, questionable choices, and feeling different are running themes throughout, but this EP feels like a celebration of what it means to be human and to fall foul to all of those things, just as everyone does. Redhook have delivered an impressive debut that knows it’s a little different but is comfortable standing out from the crowd.
Recommended Track: ‘Bad Decisions’