Alien Red
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Alien Red


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"Spontaneity Alien Red's mantra for music, shows"

Talking to the members of Alien Red makes one thing clear: They're no aliens to musical diversity.

Influences on the all-original project range from jazz to country, from Beck to Stevie Wonder and Prince to Jeff Buckley. And that mix, says vocalist and guitarist Aaron Brown, leaves its stamp on the band's own music.

"The common ground is that we're all individuals that like music and are open to new music," says Brown. "All four of us like different things and our favorites are different, but we all love new sounds."

Alien Red was formed in Wilkes-Barre two years ago and features Aaron Parnell "Baby Che" Brown on vocals and rhythm guitar, Lindsay Nulton on drums and vocals, Adam Zielinski on bass and vocals and Justin David Deutsch on lead guitar. The group is currently circulating a seven-song sampler of its tunes at shows. Tracks include "Can't Stop," "Alien Red," "Fear," "Moonlight" and "Incomplete."

Writing, says Brown, is a collaborative effort in which the band's members expand upon one another's ideas.

"Usually, somebody comes in with a little something, or it's just spur of the moment," he says. "We could be jamming down in the basement, and something comes, and we'll start writing a song."

Though Brown serves as the band's primarily lyricist, he says those duties are also sometimes shared. For him, words come easily, and inspiration can come from anything from a cool summer rain to a windy winter night.

"I try to work real simple and I don't try to get too cerebral with it," he says. "Whatever my emotions are and whatever I'm feeling — be it the state of politics, the state of a relationship I'm having or the state of the trees outside. Whatever creates an emotion inside of me, whether it makes me feel angry, happy, sad - whatever - I just try to write straight from emotion."

Alien Red has recorded at The Rec Room in Scranton and at Marywood University.

Its live show consists almost solely of original material, save for a cover of The Doors' "People Are Strange," which the band enjoys reworking into the mid-section of one of its own songs.

The group will perform at The Bog in Scranton on July 31. Also on the bill are The Swims, Charles Havira, Brett Andrew, Felix Sarco and Brenda Fernandes. Showtime is 2-8 p.m. and admission is $5. All proceeds benefit the Lupus Foundation of Pennsylvania.

Brown says the group's live show involves not only band interaction, but audience interaction.

"We want to break down a couple of lines," he says. "For our last show, we ran into this guy, and he said he played harmonica, and we said, 'Oh, really. Want to come down to our show and play?' At different shows, people will just walk in and play hand-drums. We just try to create an atmosphere where people are coming out and getting down, and hopefully listening to good music.

"It's inclusive, instead of exclusive."

Want to hear some Alien Red? I'll be spinning one of their tunes this Sunday night on "The Mountaingrown Hour: Music on the Menu Live." Showtime is 9 p.m. on WDMT-FM, 102.3-The Mountain. For more info on the group, visit
- By ALAN K. STOUT, The Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre, PA)

"I'm with the band"

The main reason I spent my night at OTC's rather than anywhere else was to see Alien Red. These guys were the very first band who emailed me and asked me to come see them play months ago when this column started. I didn't think it would take this long for me to catch up with them. For that, I apologize. Alien Red was well worth the wait. Alien Red came together out of a need and a love for creating new music. Fusion, R&B, funk, rock, soul ... if you really want to, you can try to label their sound. You'll be wishing you hadn't. It's like trying to pigeonhole the Wyoming Valley into one ethnic group. Impossible. The old clich� about the sum being greater than the parts certainly holds true with Alien Red. Drummer Arn Sundberg and bassist Adam Zielinski lay down a solid beat behind Justin Deutsch's smooth guitar sounds while singer Aaron Brown stands in front tying it all together. Sounds simple, right? Think again. There's nothing simple about them, other than the fact that they're simply amazing. I hope all of you don't make the same mistake I did and let a lot of time pass between when you hear the name Alien Red and see them for yourself.
Before I had a chance to write this, someone I hadn't talked to in a while called me to tell me that they finally remembered the name of the band they wanted to tell me about for months. "They're called Alien Red. You should write about them sometime."
You took the words right out of my mouth.

- Dave Thackara, Diamond City

"Finalist for Jam Song of the Year"

2006 Finalist for the Jam Song of the Year by Independent Music Awards, sponsored by Musicians Atlas.

- Independent Music Awards

"Agitated Rock"

By Alicia Grega-Pikul of the Electric City (Scranton, PA)

Alien Red celebrates its self-titled debut CD with a show at the River Street Jazz Cafe

It's a catch-22 that's befuddled even the biggest rock stars with the biggest budgets. How do you capture the energy of a live concert on a polished studio album? Notorious for its unusually vigorous stage presence, Scranton's Alien Red is among the bands most likely to put out an album that pales in comparison. Yet its self-titled eight-track debut impressively manages to beat this fate. Alien Red has shared plenty of demos during the past few years and released a five-track EP, New Year's in Aztec, as recently as last spring. None of those recordings have prepared listeners for Alien Red.

Immediately demanding the listener's attention with "Greatest Day," an impossibly upbeat song about sex with the ex, the disc journeys through funk, punk and soul, surf and ska, country, R& B, and blues and hard-edged rock before coming full circle to the sultry "Red Light." Lead singer and lyricist Aaron Brown's chameleonic vocals electrify each song's story. The disc is frantic and chaotic, yet somehow completely organized. - By: Alicia Grega-Pikul, The Electric City (Scranton,PA)

"Okayplayer CD Review"

With a name like Alien Red, the mind can run wild as several sci-fi connotations spring to mind: what if extra-terrestrials scooped an infant Stevie Wonder out of the crib, cryogenically froze him for a decade, and geographically transplanted him in Vermont, where he would link up with the soon-to-be members of Phish? And what if such a lengthy, convoluted, hypothetical situation was enough to drive this singer to the point of skewed insanity? You can probably guess where this is heading…

On their self-titled second release, the Scranton band opts for a very live-feeling sound, which is a wise choice for a group of such talented musicians. The energy that oozes out of the 8 songs on Alien Red is contagious, and the individual players possess the virtuosity to match such exuberance. Anastasio-like guitar lines nervously drive up-tempo grooves that are propelled by an incredible rhythm section. Alien Red’s addition of organ player Jeremy Protska add an oft-times spooky dynamic that serves to further color these explosive compositions.

They’re not afraid to step outside the box, either. The band seems to thrive off of quirkiness in its rawest form (see the angular freak-out at the end of “Capitalist Condition/Batman”). Vocalist Aaron Brown embraces this odd slant on several of the band’s tunes, most notably on the psychotic fury of “Kill the Dog”, a song best described as canine homicide set to Pacific surf rock coming to terms with its soul roots. Lest the group be written off as a comedy act, they tone it down on the bluesy smoothness that is “Country”, and go for a downright classic soul sound on “P. Blues”, two tracks that comprise the second half of the album.

- Sean Kantrowitz

"Relix Review"

Hailing from Scranton PA, Alien Red brings powerful vocals and electrifying musicianship on their new self-titled Album. The new album travels through funk, punk, surf, and blues to create what they have appropriately called, Power Soul. - Relix Magazine

"A quantum leap forward"

Alien Red's self-titled second EP shows a quantum leap forward in their songwriting while adding more genres to their expanding musical palette. Whether it's the hard rock of "Belongs to Me", the surf-rock of "Kill the Dog", or a tearful ballad like "Country", the band could do it all and do it well. Drummer Arn Sundberg and bassist Adam Zielinski do a stellar job throughout as their performances match the mood of each track perfectly. The furious tracks "Ice Cold" and "Capitalist Condition/Batman" are also very good. However, where the band truly shines is on the more melodic material. "P. Blues" shows off the superb vocals of Aaron Brown and sounds like one of the great R&B tunes from back in the day. "Greatest Day" is very catchy with a melody that sticks in your head long after you've heard it. Finally, "Red Light", with Brown's passionate vocals, Jeremy Prostka's tasty piano licks, and Justin Deutsch's soaring guitar solo, shows the band at their very best. With its strong musicianship and improved songwriting skills, Alien Red's self-titled EP shows a band that is only hinting at their vast potential. - CD Baby, Todd Donaho

"Finalist for Jam Album of the Year"

2007 Finalist for Jam Album of the Year by the Independent Music Awards, sponsored by Musicians Atlas. - Independent Music Awards

"4.5 out of 5 stars from Shinbone Magazine"

In a land where otherwise creative bands seem content to name themselves after awful and often grammatically incorrect sentence fragments, Alien Red has stepped out, saddling itself with a name that’s as catchy as it is indicative of the band’s contagious tunes.

Picture five stereotypical aliens drunk on Red Stripe beer and Prince records getting together to watch Stevie Wonder DVDs and you have arrived somewhere near the upscale ballpark that is Alien Red.

The Philadelphia band’s second, self-titled CD was chosen as a finalist in the “Jam Album of the Year” category at this year’s Independent Music Awards. It’s a distinction that while dubious, fails to reflect the band’s passion for crafting well-written and marketable tunes that -- on average -- weigh in beneath the 4:00 mark.

Alien Red’s sound is a cosmic collision of the nutmeg-fused scattershot of old-school Fishbone with the mellower side of Living Colour. A loungy yet unmistakably groovy vibe prevails throughout; and the structures, though firmly rooted in sugar free jazz, are so tight they make you wonder if the band left its individual names off of the press materials out of unselfishness or an assuredness that most casual music fans lack the capacity to enjoy this risky CD enough to research the parts of this stellar sum.

Well, the members’ names are Aaron Brown, Justin Deutsch, Arnold Sundberg, Jeremy Prostka, and Adam Zielenski, and they deserve to be mentioned. And for those that seek levity through bands otherwise known as “best-kept secrets,” then this Red’s for you.
For Fans Of:

Stevie Wonder – All • Prince – Purple Rain • Jamiroquai – Emergency on Planet Earth - Gene Padden, Shinbone Magazine


New Years in an Aztec (2005)
Alien Red (2006)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Alien Red's sound is almost as unique of an experience one could have, and it happened almost by chance. In 2002, lead guitarist Justin Deutsch and vocalist/rhythm guitarist Aaron Brown each played an acoustic set at the Cafe Rouge in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Later in the evening, several young women approached them suggesting they play together.

At the time, Deutsch and Brown were more interested in speaking with the girls. However, in their individual pursuits of romance, they began to get to know one another. As time went on, the courtships dissipated but a bond had been formed. Alien Red emerged in the coming year with Adam Zielinski on bass, Lindsay Nulton on drums, and Arn Sundberg on percussion.

In April of 2005, they released their first EP titled New Years in An Aztec which commemorated a crazy New Years Day in 2005. The EP featured the band's finest songs, focusing on their intelligent, impeccable songwriting. Recorded reel-to-reel, the album has a very warm feel and the song Mystic Reign has received considerable national attention as a finalist in the Jam Song Category of the Independent Music Awards, sponsored by The Musicians Atlas.

In June 2005, Alien Red and Lindsay Nulton parted ways; an amicable separation that placed Sundberg behind the drums, which required the band to adapt. Through this adversity, Alien Red has emerged with a strong fanbase and an even stronger sense of who they are and what they want to accomplish. With an even more powerful, cleaner, tighter, and definitely crazier sound, the band decided to head back to the studio to record a new album.

In April of 2006, they released their 8 track self-titled CD. On this album, they have continued their tradition of strong songwriting and have added the wonderful sounds of Jeremy Protska on the piano and organ, further expanding their sound. Their new album has a very live feel and you can definitely hear and sense all of the joys and heartaches that went into its creation. This new album has already received national attention with help from Relix Magazine. The song Red Light was featured on a compilation CD in the July issue of Relix Magazine, which reaches over 100,000 avid music fans worldwide. The band is completely honored by this recognition. The album also received national attention when it was chosen as a finalist for Jam Album of the Year by the Independent Music Awards, sponsored by The Musicians Atlas.