Red Pens

Red Pens

 Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

They're the ultimate DIYers; Minneapolis power duo Red Pens is both salty and sweet, incorporating droning background loops and walls of abstract sound a la Sonic Youth/My Bloody Valentine, while remaining joyfully melodious a la the Jesus and Mary Chain.


Seeing the Minneapolis duo Red Pens is like witnessing a demonstration. A demonstration in raw sonic bliss. Howard Hamilton III is a string bending master and knows how to make feedback work to his advantage. His confident vocal stylings coupled with drummer Laura Bennett's all or nothing kit pounding are about as uniquely refreshing as it gets these days. The stage is littered with junk shop amps and guitars Hamilton seems to almost get tangled up in while he and Bennett exchange doses of laser beam eye contact showing off a seemingly deeper connection between the two of them than your average indie rock outfit.

Hamilton and Bennett met in the arena of visual arts and started Red Pens as a way to express their deep love for rock and roll. Howard's old project The Busy Signals went on tours with The Shins and it's beat and loop based jams proved to be an underdog favorite in the early two thousands. Laura is well known as a painter and is best known for her painting on guitar effects boxes. She even has her own signature fuzz pedal, not bad for a drummer.

Their debut album "Reasons" on Grain Belt Records is a mid-fi bonanza of fuzzy reverb drenched art rock. The wiggly winding guitars, slap back vocals and killer back beats are sure to give you that silly grin you've been starving for.


Don't Be Sane EP (2008)
Reasons (Fall 2009)