The Red Eyes - Fallin’ Thru’ the CracksThe Red Eyes – Fallin’ Thru the Cracks

Self released

CD/DL

Out Now

The Red Eyes celebrate their 25th anniversary with 12 glorious tracks that recall the sounds of the late 70’s imbued by the harmonies and melodies of some of the finest purveyors of the sounds of the first wave of punk rock, played in their own inimitable style, and including the usual sublime and astutely observed lyrics from Alan Bishop.

It has been four years since The Red Eyes last album, the often touching and affecting Man and Boy. In the intervening time, it seemed The Red Eyes had been fairly quiet (hasn’t everyone given COVID … perhaps this album title kind of makes a nod to that) but they have obviously been working hard behind the scenes.

Judge, Jury, Executioner

This new album hits the ground running, like they’ve never been away. Thunderous drum rolls and huge crunching riffs crash in and Alan has something to say, the fury of Judge, Jury & Executioner castigating the narrow viewpoint of individuals who cast themselves as the self appointed judge, jury and executioner of the songs title, quick to jump to conclusions without considering there are “two sides to every story”

As mentioned earlier, The Red Eyes sound recalls some of the purveyors of the finest tunes and melodies from the first wave of punk. There are several nods to this throughout Fallin’ Thru’ the Cracks, none more so than on the tribute to The Ruts charismatic frontman Malcolm Owen, The Rude Boys Are Starin’ Back at Me, including the closing refrain of “shine on” and also in the nod to The Ramones in the title of You Could Be the 1-2-3-4.

When the Last Note Died

Alan’s lyrics are always thoughtful and considered both from a storytelling perspective and, importantly, for the makings of a great song with memorable refrains, his observations often inspired by real life events. On Fallin’ Thru’ the Cracks, he looks to the 60’s and 70’s taking two tragic stories and turning them into superb songs. The story of Viv Nicolson is told though a song which shares the title of the famous headline recounting her tale in Spend, Spend, Spend.

Perhaps the most powerful and profoundly affecting song on the album is When the Last Note Died, which deals sympathetically with the murder of three members of The Miami Showband at the hands of the police during the Troubles in 1975. The song came to the attention of surviving band member Stuart Travers who shared the song via his own Facebook page. (If you don’t know about this event, watch The Miami Showband Massacre on Netflix)

The Red Eyes turn out a nifty line in high adrenaline foot to the floor melodic punk rock stompers, like the song for the Walter Mitty’s in your life, In Your Head, or railing against politicians and corruption in Power, Glory & Greed, but as proved on Man and Boy, they can also put their hand to a touching pull-at-the;heartstrings ballad, Dead in the Water being the prime example on this new long player.

This is another faultless collection of songs from The Red Eyes, well worth the wait and the blood, sweat and tears put into the recording of the album by the band.

The Red Eyes – Facebook

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All words by Neil Hodge. More writing by Neil on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. You can also find Neil online at his blog thegingerquiff.

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