Coming through from Niagara-On-The-Lake Ontario, Redcoat’s new EP Girl takes obvious inspiration from grunge giants Nirvana. From riffs to vocals, they sit between the border of grunge and alternative with their harsh vocals, heavily distorted guitar sound, and use of effects. The band formed in 2013 and features Chris McKirdy on guitar and duo Corey and Riley Sheehan on that rhythm work. After many singles and EPs, Girl and its five songs feel official and complete. Coming from the active music scene of Niagara, does Girl hit the mark or does it fall flat of its ambitions?
The first track “Diseases” launches us right into a grunge-filled nightmare with a heavy riff that, for some reason, is kind of spooky. This is an in-your-face type of song, with a catchy chorus and McKirdy screaming for his life. The chorus and hook make it memorable, though I suspect that witnessing it live must be even better. The overall structure of the song makes me think of an earl and heavy Linkin Park song from before they started playing pop music.
“Home,” the second track, adds some more depression into the mix, with a song that I find similar to the likes of Alice In Chains. Here we see that Chris McKirdy is a versatile singer, able to bring it down and sing more melodically when needed.
By “Sweater Weather” and on to “Girl,” the bass sounds fantastic. At this point, after going back to the first tracks, I realized that there wasn’t enough bass on the first few songs for some reason. This is obviously not a terrible mistake, especially when the overall sound quality works perfectly and when most of the tracks have a well-balanced sound. The drumming is always tight with the rhythm, with interesting fills that accentuate certain parts.
My main problem with most grunge is that it often feels as if the bands are afraid to switch it up and try different things. When we look back at the biggest grunge bands, they weren’t afraid to add in their own unique influences to their music, making it different from the next grunge band. Although Girl does have some grunge tropes, like the use of certain effects, I did feel like they changed it up with each song enough to add variety.
Overall, Girl is a successful EP and, although it lacks any real innovation, the change of pace and rhythm for each song makes it feel like its own thing. Only time will tell if Redcoat decides to experiment further with their music.
Written by Johnathan Robinson
*edited by Kate Erickson