The Redwalls: De Nova (2005)

Today, we’re going to switch gears completely and listen to what my iTunes tells me is an “Indie Rock” band, but what Wikipedia suggests is a “rock” band. The album of the day is De Nova from The Redwalls.

This is one of those albums that has been lying around in my iTunes for so long that I don’t even remember how I got the album or why I have it sitting in my seemingly endless reservoir of unlistened-to-by-me music. Sometimes I get suggestions from friends, magazines, or the Internet, but I can’t for the life of me remember where this one came from

The first track on the album, Robinson Crusoe, did what any first impression song should do; it piqued my interest, made me dance, and made me want more. The lead singer’s voice is raspy and crisp, something that stands out in the countless droning of bands that sound the same.

As a mass communications person, and a student who couldn’t get enough out of my media law course, Falling Down had grasped my attention before I had registered that it was time for a new track. The line “What’s this shit goin down bout the FCC/ gone to war against obscenity” opens the song, which stays solid through ironic choices in language as the lyrics discuss the state of the United States of America – presumably in 2005, but things dealing with censorship are forever relevant.

Fast forward two tracks (too much love sickness for my taste) and The Redwalls finally slow it down a bit with Build a Bridge. Maybe still a bit love sick (Do you miss me, too?), but this song finally offers  a different tempo to change things up a bit. In this track especially, I can’t help but be reminded of The Beatles for whatever reason – maybe it’s the edge in the lead singer’s voice – or maybe it’s the singalong element toward the end of the song. Don’t hate me, Beatles fans.

The Illinois-based band solidified my attention with Front Page. After two listens, this song is easily my favorite off the entire album. “In the darkest nights come the darkest days, in the worst of ways” one of the band-founding brothers sings over acoustic guitars that pick up just slightly throughout the verses. I love a song that makes my ears and my brain happy at the same time.

The album wraps up with Rock & Roll which takes them out just like they came in to this album – a catchy, upbeat song that is impossible to resist tapping your toes (or fingers) to.

Wikipedia tells me the band once supported Oasis on a tour, and after one listen through De Nova, I can see that being a fitting lineup. This album makes me want to check out what else these guys have to offer.

Key Tracks:
Robinson Crusoe (track 1)
Front Page (track 9)
Rock & Roll (track 13)

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