Red Letter Days' Sounds Like a Plan EP is a Full-On Plunge Into the Mainstream

Categories: Homespun

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Make no mistake about Red Letter Days' intentions: The young three-piece wants to be all over your radio. This five-song EP has the sheen and sparkle of modern radio rock so imprinted on its DNA that the band's stated influences (Paramore, All-American Rejects) appear as an inspiration and a target.

According to its press materials, the band has a manager, a booking agent, and even decamped to California to record Sounds Like a Plan. So just know up-front that this isn't a band content to simply dip its toe in the mainstream - this is a plunge.

The trio is centered around Katie McKenna's vocals, which can dip down low enough to grab some Pat Benatar-esque huskiness. Katie's brother Willie McKenna helms the drum kit and Alex Bolano plays guitar with enough bravado to pull off a passable finger-tapped solo on opening cut "Beautiful Eyes." But brief discursions aside, these songs are built around hooks and big, bouncy choruses.

The songs themselves are tuneful and confident, though they tend to bleed into one another across these five tracks. Similar tempos and major-key riffs only allow for so much distinction. "Always" adds some nuance with a little piano boogie, but it sounds as if the band has a hard time making the center hold.

Something similar happens a few times on the EP; too much weight is placed on the vocals but phrasing kills some of the momentum. "Exodus" closes out the disc with the strongest track - Katie McKenna bares some teeth and shows some grit on this little kiss-off, and the guitar has a suitable edge to it as well. So it's a toss-up whether this band of 20-somethings will be invading your radio soon enough, but the pieces are in place for the members of Red Letter Days to keep honing their craft and tinkering with the strictures of modern rock.

Listen to the EP for yourself, below:

Want your CD to be considered for a review in this space? Send music c/o Riverfront Times, Attn: Homespun, 6358 Delmar Boulevard, Suite 200, St. Louis, Missouri, 63130. Email music@riverfronttimes.com for more information.

See Also:
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- The Eight Smoothest Songs of the Seventies

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9 comments
damnh0mi3
damnh0mi3 like.author.displayName 1 Like

The songs are amazing and catchy! My favorite part is the drumming though. I can't wait for them to reach mainstream!

finalcountdown2014
finalcountdown2014 like.author.displayName 1 Like

RLD are very good.  But I think that the singer sounds the same in all of the songs.  The guitarist and drummer are damn good though.  

ryryok
ryryok like.author.displayName 1 Like

it just soothes my soul


JayRose
JayRose like.author.displayName 1 Like

Love RLD and love this EP!  Can't stop listening to it!

jmonroe04
jmonroe04 like.author.displayName 1 Like

The soundtrack to my SUMMER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-JMH

ericlevenhagen20
ericlevenhagen20 like.author.displayName 1 Like

This article is spot on.  I love how the songs flow into each other on the EP.  These three are going to kill it on their tour

chodehnal
chodehnal like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Got hooked with Reverie and the rest of the EP sounds great, too. Oh, and their drummer is sooooo dreamy ;)

carveritup12
carveritup12 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Listening through this EP, I can't believe how catchy and original it sounds! Well placed vocals, guitar riffs, drumming, and just a generally awesome sound that I'd love to hear live! Go get em, guys!

bchotspur
bchotspur like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

This EP is great. Hopefully this band is about to take off! 

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