Red Rockers: Condition Red (2023 Reissue) (Liberty Spike) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Red Rockers

Condition Red (2023 Reissue)

Liberty Spike

Jan 17, 2024 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


To most in the mainstream, Red Rockers are one or two hit wonders best known for their mid ’80s MTV hits “China” and the title track to their second album Good as Gold. For those into punk rock, however, they were known primarily for this, their independent debut (originally released on 415 Records and produced by a pre-fame David Kahne) that established them as a U.S. version of their heroes The Clash. Following on that template of crunchy guitars, gigantic choruses, and sociopolitical lyrics established by not only The Clash, but Stiff Little Fingers (whose drummer Jim Reilly would go on to join Red Rockers) and The Dils, whose song “Red Rockers Rule” inspired this New Orleans band’s very name. There’s even a cover of “Folsom Prison Blues” on here with backing vocals from their friend Jello Biafra. There are moments on here that sound like D.O.A., Articles of Faith, and others in the burgeoning early hardcore scene, but for the most part, this sticks to ’77 punk tempos.

This is the very first time that this album has ever been reissued on vinyl since its 1981 release (there was a CD release in 1989 on the German Lost and Found label) and boy did they do it right. The color is a beautiful deep red and it includes a full-color eight-page booklet with liner notes from Tim Stegall detailing the making of the album and the band members’ thoughts about it today, and most importantly, it sounds fabulous as well, the new mix removing some of the reverb of the original. Furthermore, there are two bonus tracks, one of which was “China”’s B-side (“Voice of America”) along with another great one called “United We Stand.” While those who have heard or still have their original copies may wanna hold on to those for that or other reasons (though they should get this immediately if they haven’t already regardless), for those who have never heard this record, I highly recommend this version and mix. There’s also a CD version with even more bonus tracks. (www.facebook.com/RedRockersBand/)

Author rating: 8.5/10

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