Red City Radio‘s latest, “To the Sons and Daughters of Woody Guthrie,” treads almost no uncharted sonic territory. The elements are well-worn: vocals that ride atop a pop-punk mix of distorted guitars; trenchant bass lines; and punctual, upbeat drumming. There’s nothing new here, but that makes the Oklahoma City foursome’s five-song EP bolder and ever better.
Rather than try their hands at reckless studio experimentation, the members’ dual guitarist/vocalists Paul Pendley and the gravely Garret Dale; drummer Dallas Tidwell; and Jonathan Knight, front man of the recently defunct local rock outfit Anchors for Arsenal’ rehearsed, honing their craft at constant live gigs and plugging in with producer Stephen Egerton, who’s best known for supplying guitar work for All and legendary punk outfit The Descendents.
The album, set for a mid-June release, runs full clip from start to end. The opener, “Where We’re Going We Don’t Need Roads,” is a rollicking ode to youthful optimism, an anthem of idealism led by both Pendley and Dale, who plea, “We can make this world a better place / You and I.”
“If All Else Fails Play Dead” and “Dead Friends Don’t Pay Debts” continue with more concise, taut and energetic pop-punk,