RedHook – ‘Bad Decisions’

By Gem Rogers

If there’s one country we can always rely on to provide the goods when it comes to new music these days, it’s Australia – and with their fresh, eclectic sound, Sydney mob RedHook are no exception. Having released their first single back in 2018, it feels like a debut EP has been a long time coming, but their patience has allowed ‘Bad Decisions’ to drop at the perfect time; as international attention starts to come their way, RedHook have developed into a storming powerhouse ready to take on the world.

In just two and a half minutes, opening track and lead single ‘Bad Decisions’ lets you know exactly what you’re getting into with this EP. Imagine all the joy that we’re experiencing as we’re able to reclaim bits and pieces of our normal, post-lockdown lives, compressed into the rowdiest, most chaotic song possible, and you’re halfway there. Awash with gang vocals (featuring the likes of fellow Aussie bands Yours Truly, FANGZ, and The Dead Love), furious riffs and drums, and hooks big enough to take on a Great White, this is an anthem for the fucked up, and it’s the perfect introduction to fall in love with.

It quickly becomes clear, as ‘Bad Decisions’ gives way to the cutting ‘Cure 4 Psycho’ and the perilously addictive whirling madness of ‘Kamikaze’, that RedHook aren’t a band interested in anything other than full throttle chaos, nor are they keen on sticking to tried and tested formulas. Calling on anything from punk and rap to metalcore and pop, every song on this EP is filled with unexpected twists and turns delivered with effervescent energy; ‘I Don’t Keep Up’ manages to segue casually from a chunky, growling tone into a saxophone solo with impeccable confidence and style, and hell, why not? Whether it’s biting, rapid fire aggression or big melodic hooks, there’s plenty to sink your teeth into here, and it all feels naturally effortless.

If RedHook seem a bit like misfits at this stage (in the best possible way), it’s a feeling backed up not only by the music, but lyrically too. Just as ‘Bad Decisions’ is for any former ‘good kid’ who wonders where they went wrong, songs like ‘Alien’ and ‘Your Heroes Are Bullshit’ expose a vulnerability and sense of not belonging verbalised in a way that feels not only relatable, but hugely cathartic. ‘Bad Decisions’ is full of songs with lyrics that, regardless of their original meaning to the band, are the kind that will form their own personal meaning to listeners, taking on new life and providing an outlet for a whole host of emotions and situations.

For anyone looking for a new band who can put their own spin on alternative music, one that’s full of unique identity and bursting with infectious energy, there’s really no need to look any further than RedHook. With an utterly unapologetic outlook and more memorable moments in just six songs than some can manage in a full album, ‘Bad Decisions’ is easily one of the most exciting releases of the year – this is one to miss at your peril.

GEM ROGERS

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