Right now, Oklahoma City punk outfit Red City Radio is making its way down the East Coast, gigging from Pennsylvania to The Fest, a three-day music festival in Gainesville, Fla.
Vinnie Fiorello, drummer and founding member of hit Florida ska act Less Than Jake, caught the band's performance at The Fest last year. After Red City Radio's deal with Eyeball Records fell through, Fiorello signed the band to Paper + Plastick, a label he started after leaving iconic indie label Fueled by Ramen, which he co-founded.
Last week, Paper + Plastick released a three-song, digital teaser, the "Spinning in Circles Is a Gateway Drug" EP, a sampling of "The Dangers of Standing Still," a full-length release due out in early 2011.
Guitarist Garrett Dale takes the vocal lead on the eponymous album-opener, a track about defying odds and determining one's own destiny. It's an anxious, optimistic energy that rang out in every chord of last year's "To the Sons & Daughters of Woody Guthrie" EP, but it's an infectious theme.
Ironically, "A Brief Lesson in Repetition" has a lot of new patterns, proving more complex rhythmically and melodically. Guitar lines and intertwine with four-part vocal harmonies' Red City Radio's signature' but things here are much more layered and thick than before. Dallas Tidwell's drumming is more syncopated, mixing in more like a fourth instrument rather than a sole, rhythmic drive.
The third track, "They Don't Make Gravel Roads Like They Used To," explores how youthful memories are forged in the pursuit of wasting time.
"Father told me, 'Son you must never walk alone / Keep these memories in your heart and you will learn to carry on,'" Garrett sings.
Supposedly, the new songs are extras from Red City Radio's recording sessions with producer Stephen Egerton, who played guitar with the Descendents and All. If these are B-sides, the forthcoming album already gets an "A" in my book.
The EP is $2.97 on iTunes. For more information, visit www.myspace.com/redcityradio. "Joe Wertz