new music: rdgldgrn gets introspective on the mercurial ‘red gold green 2 ep’ #soundcheck

October 12, 2015

Rejoice! Mercurial trio RDGLDGRN is back with a new EP. Following up from last year’s Elevators EP, the band’s latest leans more towards the hip-hop side of their alt/rock/hip-hop hybrid. “Rock band under the belt / rap’s just another option” frontman Green (Pierre Desrosiers) spits on lead single “No Pixar.” The track’s hook “No Pixar / No Disney,” paints the EP as a new direction for the trio, a split from their major label flirtations. RDGLDGRN sounds refreshed, refocused, and unstoppable on Red Gold Green 2.

By Nathan Leigh, AFROPUNK Contributor

Green’s declarations of unstoppability however are belied in the repeated “money ain’t a thing that I need in my life” of “Hangout,” before an electronic voice reads an account balance statement: $1.59. Shit. Yeah, money ain’t a thing. Except when it is. When Red Gold Green 2 is at it’s best, it’s when Green goes into the frustration of being that awkward level of success: people know who you are, but rent’s still a problem. This conflict is probably best laid out in the should-be-single “When I’m Alone.” With the record’s strongest hook and some of the most honest lyrics Green has written to date, the song gets into the shit of being an artist so close to the dream but still struggling to make ends meet. Any indie artist that doesn’t get the feels from it isn’t listening hard enough.

The EP isn’t all struggle and heartbreak. Cuts like “Runnin Away” are verifiable hits with an anthemically wry hook celebrating running away from your problems like a fuckin champ, while “Chop U Down” and “Won’t Last” are the class-clown alt pop that RDGLDGRN made their names with. The lone criticism of the record is the beats which often struggle to meet Green’s playful flow and Red’s ebullient guitarwork. Granted anything is a step down from having Dave Grohl at the kit (see also: Stone Age, Queens of the), but the trio’s programmed beats could use some of the life and dynamic range Grohl brought to their debut. But minor criticisms aside, you know what? How can you not love a song with the line that compares love to fucking Rainbow Road? “I go on like Rainbow Road / On Super Mario Kart 64.” Try listening to “Won’t Last” just once without your day being a little better. Doesn’t work, does it?

Red Gold Green 2 is out now on Deuce Day World.

Photo by Andrew Markowitz