You Have To Hear: Red Riders

This time up it’s an indie band from Sydney, Australia, called Red Riders. And it’s another real summer band that is almost certainly best enjoyed when submerged in an icy-cold swimming pool on a warm sunny day.

The band has performed at Australia’s biggest music festivals over the last few years, including the Big Day Out in 2006 and 2007. You can catch them at Sydney’s Homebake festival this year if you’re lucky enough to have secured tickets.

Red Riders formed in 2002, when two of their members met at a Black Rebel Motorcycle Club gig. They discovered that they shared a common interest in 80’s music, and decided to pen a few songs along these lines. Once a few mates were introduced to the project, Red Riders was born. You can definitely still hear those 80’s undertones to their music, but they are now partially obscured by a more modern fusion of surf and pop music, à la The Drums.

In fact Red Riders could almost be seen as Australia’s answer to New York’s The Drums, only they have that classic Australian indie feel to their music- even if you can’t quite put your finger on what it is, you know this band is Aussie. This being said, in their newest record, ‘Drown In Colour’, Red Riders have branched out a bit to include much darker elements of songwriting and storytelling. This album is an example of the classic juxtaposition of dark lyrics with bright melodies.

The album has its standout moments however, and these are generally of the bright, summer-y variety. The second single, ‘Ordinary’, is a near-perfect summer anthem, and perhaps a claim about their own music: “Nothing that we do is ordinary“. Unfortunately this line doesn’t truly apply to the music of Red Riders- some of their tracks are indeed quite ordinary, and the album Drown In Colour is an inconsistent one in terms of quality, even at a meager 40 minutes in length.

But when Red Riders’ sound works, it soars. If only they did this more often, they would be a band to really love, but even if their moments of brilliance are far apart, they are so spectacular that it is worth the wait. And besides, ‘Ordinary’ is a damn fine song.

Listen if you like: The Drums, Yves Klein Blue, Dappled Cities

Artist: Red Riders

Song: Ordinary

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