A big issue I have with bands like Redox Envy is that despite the sheer infectiousness and catchiness of their music, it’s very easy for a band like them to become a one trick pony. Why? Because the just get everything right on “Hearts”. Produced at Sine Studios (Motown, Bon Jovi) and mastered at Sterling Sound by Grammy-winning engineer Joe LaPorta (David Bowie, Foo Fighters, the Weeknd, Imagine Dragons), the “Hearts” EP showcases band members – David Staples on drums, Kevin McHugh on lead guitar, and Ken Linskey taking vocals, bass, rhythm guitar, and keys, as excellent at what they do.
On my first listen, I wasn’t quite sure how I felt. It was evident that Redox Envy and the production crew had put a lot of care into the recording and producing of the tracks, and while the music was certainly superb, I couldn’t shake the feeling of uncertainty. What’s going on here? What genre are these guys? Naturally, in times of musical trouble, I started the EP from the beginning. That’s when it hit me.
“Hearts” is an elaborate ode to empathy. Redox Envy succeeds in tantalizing the emptiness inside of us with expert musical prowess and downright euphoric emotion. How else would you describe the soaring melody of “Higher Than Real Life”? The track sucks you right in with its enchanting “ooh-oh-oh-oh” melody.
Once you’re there, on that higher plain, the rhetorical-question title of “Is It Loud Enough?” drives its message home, causing you to question your own judgments, your own decisions, and your own motivations. But this effect is subtle, almost lost in the calming melody contrasting the upbeat tempo.
These ideas carry through to “Though I Know The Game” which almost sounds like it could be a Culture Club song, with the long bellowing vocals floating over a synthesizer-heavy background.
For coeds looking for that perfect music to blast down the beach roads this summer, there are few recordings better suited than “Hearts”. It features the kind of forward-thinking, soul-induced pop songs that many an indie band would die for.
As mentioned previously, Redox Envy certainly put a lot of work into the production values, but high production doesn’t necessarily translate to high song quality. Fortunately for this EP, the band brings high quality songs to the table too.
With this EP, Redox Envy have taken the infectious synth encasings of the 80’s and infused these pop sensibilities with a core of guitar-driven exploration, lyrical introspection and vocal solidarity, to create an infectious earworm formula.
When Redox Envy is able to hit their songwriting stride, as on the outstanding “Higher Than Real Life (featuring Meghan Algeo)” and “Though I Know The Game” few can copy them. The band offers a significant amount of melody and sing-along material that will soon be shuffled to the backs of minds and onto summer playlists.