Rust Belt Heart

Red Collar - Pilgrim

When the press materials accompanying your album refer to you as "Bruce Springsteen meets Fugazi," that's almost a dare to a music blogger. The combination is so intriguing and tantalizing that is practically guarantees you'll be rising above the din of promo emails and mailings and at least get a listen.

The albums opener, "The Commuter," starts with a drumbeat and keyboards reminiscent of Springsteen's "I'm On Fire," so the comparisons to The Boss start right away. Once you get into songs intro though, you realize the similarities are more in approach than in sonics. It's storytelling sung with conviction. Produced by Brian Paulson, the album sounds closer to Superchunk than "She's The One." Full of infectious energy and spiky riffs, it's easy to picture why these guys (and gal) have a reputation for being great live band. Lyrically though, the songs follow a narrative of unrealistic expectations, days gone by and dreams unfulfilled. It's almost bizarre to have a band that is so energetic and motivated to be singing almost exclusively about people who didn't make it. I guess that's the thing about writing working class anthems though, you're either going to be Woody Guthrie or some hokey country hack like Toby Keith. Red Collar might be singing about the downside of life, but listening to Pilgrim is anything but.

Red Collar - "Used Guitars" (mp3)


not bad, i like this song. :)

-cathy young
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