Sad Red
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Sad Red

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
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"The Sad Red Demo Review"

SadRed - 2006 Demo Review

by Mark Hensch

The review you are reading right now came about when the band in question, Sadred, went out on quite a limb. Contacting me after reading a recent review I had done of the new Mars Volta album, Amputechture, Sadred said that I should check them out and do a review of their 2006 demo as they had a lot in common with the Mars Volta. Seeing that the Mars Volta is one of my favorite bands, Sadred's statement of musical intent set my expectations very high. In short, the band were pretty ballsy to compare themselves to a band I like so much; it definitely made me a lot more harsh as a potential critic.

With this in mind, how did their 2006 demo fare under my scrutiny? Ironically enough, Sadred have in some ways not only exceeded my expectations, but also the bar set so high by the Mars Volta as well. This demo features polished, slick, and downright catchy free-jazz mixed with moments of stark beauty and surprisingly deep amplifier-worship. Infinitely more focused than the Mars Volta, Sadred are also fairly technical, yet never fall into the trap of self-indulgence that other progressive rock bands often sink into. Despite this, the shortest song is well over seven minutes, and all three tracks are lengthy compositions. Because of all these facts, Sadred on paper would seem to be a very aloof band solely for musical snobs; in reality, Sadred have elements that will appear to virtually any type of music fan. Varied and compelling, the music speaks for itself with its simple, well-plotted meandering.

I truly believe that the song "Glass" could be a radio-rock single for example. A slithering bass-line frolics in wash after wash of transparent, ethereal guitar chords. The song goes into moody, beautiful territory, all with a faint luminous tinge. This unusual fluid feel (offset by an underlying intensity that is fiery and passionate) maintains all the consistency and spark of a jellyfish glowing in the darkest recesses of the ocean. As the song billows by, a thick, choking cloud of surprisingly deep sludge-rock drifts in and out in the mix. The band isn't afraid to solo either; a psychedelic hailstorm mid-song will convert guitar-wank fans in droves....and did I mention that its blistering climax back into the song' original, funky bassline is damn impressive anyways?

"The Morning Paper" has some truly elegant piano keys and jazzy radiance to it. Listeners will get a fantastic vibe of chilling out in some interstellar space lounge, as a jazz band plays in zero-gravity. And what zero-gravity it is! Sadred takes full advantage of their apparent musical weightlessness; the song flips inwards and outwards and all angles in between. A surprisingly tight guitar solo leads into twinkling ambience and then a soaring updraft that eventually comes down into soft, comforting drone. This song borders on divine experience.

"Jack's Idea" is actually a pretty good one. Bad puns aside, the band goes into chiling organ hums and twinkling percussion before a massive, angular riff overtakes it. Silky smooth piano passages crop up after this, and the song never strays from delightfully challenging complexity. What can I say folks? I dig music that rocks out AND makes me ponder the intricate inner-workings of life at the same time. If you really want a headspace to zone out in, check out the entirely instrumental noise freakout that is this song's extended jam session and let your mind wander wherever it may lead.

In conclusion, this demo provides much more entertainment than most of its contemporaries. Though it may be three songs, Sadred excell at cramming multiple genres and fusing them with uncanny ease. As I also mentioned earlier, this talented New York quartet are also masters of turning long-winded jams into interesting, compelling pieces of coherent music. In a world where the majority of rock music is either being dumbed down to the point of flatlining, or hitting the books to the point where you need a PhD to understand the musical revolution, Sadred strike a much welcome balance between the two. Wonderfully brilliant, Sadred stand out from the art rock pack not just because they are so intelligent, but because they can still appeal to base human emotion in spite of it all. Keep an eye on these guys, they're going to go places.

Label:Indie
Rating:9.0 - ThrashPit.com


"New York's Undiscovered Beats"

NOTES FROM THE UNDERGROUND:
New York’s Undiscovered Beats

By Jeff David

SadRed is named after the King of all Koi, the huge carp in one of the reflecting pools at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (bonus points if you’ve seen him before!). And just like that aquatic motherfucker, this band can be delicate, intimate, calming, and then BAD AS HELL when they want to be. Like when there’s a fly just lounging on the surface of the water, or when some kid pokes his stubby, dirty little finger at you when you’re just trying to catch some rays in the shallows, the bastard. Damn kids.

But anyway, SadRed. These guys were supposed to be a jazz combo. They were raised and bred for it. Jake Bloomfield-Misrach, singer, songwriter, and guitarist for SadRed, went to a music academy before meeting the other members in NYU’s jazz program. They improvised together in their off time, even brought in clarinet and keys to round out the group. Sounds like a tailor-made jazz story. So what happened? I’ll tell you what happened. The sweet, curvaceous lure of rock n’ fucking roll, that’s what. It can’t be denied. And you can hear it in their music. Oh sure, there’s lots of ambient improvisation, irregular meters, balanced counterpoint between instruments, and guitars trickling around clarinet lines while drumsticks tickle snare and cymbals, I won’t deny it. SadRed’s full of accomplished musicians, and they accomplish all sorts of stuff whenever they feel like it. But sometimes they’d rather punch you in the face. With a glorious power-chord-cymbal-smash- “these go to 11” sonic punch, that is. It’s a metaphor. A metaphoric punch to your own, actual, non-metaphoric face. Got it?

Let’s take a step back. I pop in the album. Here goes. Track one: Happy Sea. Starts with warm, ambient, lazy musical musings. Electronic sounds and guitars do the swirling, coupled with some space-filling drones and tones added to really submerse you into the music. Submerse is definitely the right word, because SadRed makes full use of the panning spectrum, left, right, front and back, to put you right in the midst of everything. Very scene-setting, mood-setting material, which I’m sure is the point. Reminds me of that reflecting pool, as a matter of fact. Great beginning. By the way, beginnings are Priority One for me, once talent has been established. I absolutely love them. If our written language had a level above caps-lock I would use it RIGHT NOW to praise the power of beginnings. So, first test passed.

Turns out Happy Sea is one of three electronic, instrumental, ambient interludes on the EP, the others being Lovely Fantastic and Filthy Wrestling. None are similar, though they all serve a similar purpose. Jake explains that he likes the open, connected feel they create between songs. The interludes are used in their live gigs as well, with the band playing a 40-45 minute set with no breaks. Lovely Fantastic is sparser and darker than Happy Sea; instead of floating around in warm, comforting music, you’re drifting through a void, all alone. Well, not completely alone. There’s various languages being spoken in the background, there’s some industrial-sounding guitar, and there are small samples of some speed metal drums flying past occasionally. Great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there, you know? Filthy Wrestling is much more grounded. This time you’re in a subway station, you can hear the train just sitting there (must be the F line—Zing!…ok, that was crap, I blame the informality of the parentheses), and the guitars have more cohesive melodic material. Don’t get too comfortable, though, there’s also this sound that I can only describe as a cross between war drums coming across the lake and the sound of the Titanic slowly sinking. Trust me, it’s not something you want to hear in a subway station.

Jesus, look at the time! Why the hell have I been writing about the interludes?! Seriously, does anyone even listen to those? They’re like those mascot races between innings at a baseball game. I mean, you’ve gotta put something out there on the field while everyone goes to the bathroom or gets a drink, but it’s not like anyone’s sitting there just waiting for the damn races to start…unless they’ve got money riding on them or something, but that would just be sad. Sorry, let’s get to the songs already. The strongest track is Mating Song, the second song on the album. First off, there’s this infectious 5/8 meter (with the odd 5/4 bar tacked on at the end; you crazy kids!) that gets you nodding your head. Plus, the beginning is great. Did I mention how much I like beginnings? CAPS LOCK. Just Like An Orange, the first track, is driven forward by the playful, flitting bass line, with very clean guitar and vocal lines sprinkled in. Milo, the third song, starts with very unobtrusive guitar and drums while the vocals carry it along gently. But not Mating Song. Time to get Queens-of-the-Stone-Age on your ass. Some righteous guitar and driving drums is just what the doctor ordered, because frankly, it’s about time. They tease you with a shade of it in Just Like An Orange, but not enough to get your fix. In Mating Song, the verses are reigned-in, accompanied by keys and minimal drums, and there’s a quiet instrumental section as well, but there’s a sense of restlessness boiling under the surface. You can tell everyone is just itching to break loose again. Mating Song is chock-full of passion and intensity and release. In other words, it’s well named.

Milo is the last track on the album, and as we all know, with great power comes great responsibility. As expected, it is the longest track on the EP; we’ve got to make room for the long “make-the-moment-last” instrumental section at the end. Milo is not the best song on the album; however, it is the best showcase of SadRed’s style and talent. The main vocal line (to the words, “Come sweet Milo, here comes the boy that we want to see. Just the same though, today is the day that he is conceived.”) is a ridiculously effective “sticky-tune” (term stolen from my girlfriend). I guarantee you that every time your brain shuts down you’ll find yourself humming Milo. The song’s length also gives all the musicians a chance to display their chops, from the tender chamber music sections to the raucous, crashing sections that fall out of nowhere into the song and disappear just as quickly (there’s your punch in the face, by the way). Milo is a fitting summary of the EP, and plus it’s about some guy named Milo. Bonus points awarded.

Time to throw some details in here. SadRed is Jake Bloomfield-Misrach (guitar, vocals), James Windsor-Wells (drums), Josh Myers (bass) and Jon Anderson (keyboard). You can get the EP and Demo on their website, www.sadred.com. You can catch them live on Nov. 21st at 9pm at the Tribeca Rock Club, and Dec. 11 at 9pm at Arlene’s Grocery. Or maybe you’ll find them strolling around the Botanic Garden in Brooklyn, recording people’s conversations or the sounds of water moving. Maybe you’ll see them at the 2nd Ave. F stop, letting precious minutes of their rock-shortened lives fall by the wayside while the trains try to fix their hyperdrive. At least you won’t see them on TRL…yet. - Fringe Underground


"Review of "The Morning Paper""

This is a beautiful recording, really very nice - I'm listening on repeat. By far my favorite track is the second one - it sounds like if one could take the best era of Radiohead mix it with Medeski Martin & Wood, with a little of classic Yes and the absolute best elements of Alice in Chains during the heavier moments, and a surprising little bit of video game music.

Put shortly, these guys are great. I'm a person who is sensitive to comparisons between artists, so don't take the above paragraph as a "they are ripping off so and so" - these guys have a classic, nostalgic feel but a sound that is very much their own. By the end of track 3 and when track 1 rolls around again, this becomes even more apparent- this is very solidly "SadRed" territory and undoubtedly this is going to be territory more and more listeners are going to want to explore.

Truly heartfelt, extremely creative music that is done with more style and passion than just about anybody else in New York right now.
- Ben Wigler


"NYC Artists On The Rise"

They might be called Sad Red but they definitely have a thing for blue - and math. This Brooklyn based quintet plays some kind of "avant-math-emo" rock, whose blue, melancholic atmoshperes match the dominant color of their debut album's cover. The drums, guitars and keyboards rhythmic interplay recalls at times King Krimsons' madly intricate interwoven patterns, while the overall atmosphere of their sound is alternatively not too distant from Radiohead's moody exhistentialism and Soundgarden's indie blues (there's that color again). Other more relaxed tunes showcase an impeccable gusto for consuming songs that build in intensity and are not afraid to indulge in controlled guitar solos - like peeps used to do in the good old days, remember? Sad Red will celebrate the release of their CD "elder" with a show at Union Pool on 01.22, definitely worth checking out. - The Deli Magazine


"Need To Know: Sad Red + Casey Shea"

"There are lots of interesting beats to be found on Sad Red’s new album Elder. Unexpected syncopations keep you on your toes while urgent guitars fuzz out the edges; melancholic lyrics are delivered in turns with hushed howls and moody pleas. The arrangements are tighter than the average brooding band and they aren’t entirely dedicated to downer tunes. Songs like “Bag Of Shame” have an almost ethereal overtone despite the great shaking bass line. Sound like an intriguing band? They are. Give them a good listen and I’m sure you wont be disappointed." - The World In A Paper Cup


"Sad Red CD Release Party"

Delivering their music in always-evocative ways, Sad Red gives listeners a taste of the familiar before adding their own electronic, playful, and impeccably-arranged twists. Versatile rock god-esque vocals front the moody songs carrying them from their soft intros to their powerful and at times otherworldly cores. - Foundwaves


"Interview with Sad Red"

Sad Red is an indie pop band from Brooklyn that will be coming our way for a weekend tour. These guys are just getting started, and they're already selling out shows and making a big name for themselves in NYC, which is not an easy task.

They just released their new album Elder, which I just got my hands on. It's a really strong debut. Stylistically, it's all over the place; sometimes ethereal with folk-styled lyrics, other times it's fun and quirky with playful keyboards - but cohesively as a whole, it's straightforward indie pop with a slightly reverbed-out spacey influence. It's a fun listen. You can hear a sample track here, and more on their myspace. There's some real gems on this album that didn't make it to their site, so if you do make it to one of their shows, make sure to snag a copy.


I caught up with these guys for a quick interview:

CT Indie: So why don't you give me a brief history of the band? How long have you been playing, and how did you meet?

Jake Bloomfield-Misrach: James and I (Jake) have been playing on and off for 8 years. We used to get together as a duo in the lofts at school and play weird fusion/prog rock. Then I moved out to Santa Cruz for a year to live in the forest. Living in the Redwood trees was great but I felt pulled back to NY to start a new band. I had a pretty clear idea in my head of the music I wanted to listen to and I couldn't find it anywhere. So I figured the best way to hear it would be to make it. I met up with James first thing back in NY and we started writing and arranging. Then over the next couple years we felt the need for additions to the line up. The NY music scene is close knit and incestuous so it didn't take long to find the right guys. We never did try outs or anything like that. It was always "hey, we need a keyboard player. Who's the best one we know? Jon? Ok great. Jon, you're in the band."

CT: How did you get your band name? Does it have any significance?

JBM: The band name is the closest description I could come up with for the kind of music I wanted to make while using only two words. I grew up in an artistic family and painting was always a big influence so I knew I wanted a color somewhere in the name. I also knew the music had to be bold and agressive so red seemed the right choice. On the other hand, growing up, I was kind of a sad and quiet kid and that period of my life is where most of my songs come from. I decided Sad could balance out the Red. Kind of their own yin and yang.

CT: What's the coolest show you've ever played?

JBM: The DIY house party at 3rd St Co-op in D.C. full of straight edge high school kids. best crowd ever.

CT: What's your favorite record shop in NYC?

JBM: Other Music (west 4th)

CT: What are you currently listening to?

JBM: Bitte Orca by the Dirty Projectors, definitely. Also an old favorite, Stone Temple Pilot's Purple. Alice In Chains, Grizzly Bear, and Marissa Nadler.

CT: What kind of gear do you guys use?

JBM: A lot of fender stuff. Mostly at least 30 years old. Nord Stage and Canopus drums.

James Windsor-Wells: I concur with this. Canopus is the maker of drums I use. And Bosphorus cymbals.

CT: So what was your favorite moment of the Winter Olympics?

JBM: US tying it up in the last 10 seconds of the Hockey Finals. I don't care how it ended, that part was amazing. We watched that in a bar in Philly an hour before our show at North Star Bar. No Canadians were in attendance.

CT: Hell yeah, I saw that game, and it was intense. I was really expecting them to just give up but to come back at the last possible second was amazing. So, if you could play with any band on your dream tour, what bands would be on it?

JBM: Soundgarden would have a reunion tour and call us.

Josh Myers: !!!!

JBM: Oh shit. Well I guess I'll be sitting by the phone. - CT Indie


"Sad Red's Elder DEBUT"

Monday, March 15, 2010
CD Review: Sad Red's "Elder" Debut
Sad Red from Brooklyn, NY have released their new debut album entitled "Elder". They will be performing in support of this album in the New England area in mid-March.

The album opens with "The Garden And The Lemon Tree" which starts out acoustically with a barley noticeable drum beat, but the song gets a lift by an electric solo. The chord changes of "Just Like An Orange" keeps the listener guessing on the song's direction. The intricate arrangement of songs like "Ellie" and "This Head Of Mine" makes you focus on the music as not to miss anything happening between the instruments. Songs like "Bag of Shame" and "Elegy No. 1" combine 90's-style grunge style guitar with 80's-style electronics to create a 2010-style mash-up of sound. The song-writing and musicianship come together on the epic "One Shot" by painting a landscape in your mind with the music. Sad Red also shows off a gentler side with the songs "Fate Waits" and "Eden Lane".

Sad Red will be performing in Connecticut on March 18th at Cousin Larry's in Danbury, March 20th at the Acoustic Cafe in Bridgeport and on March 21st at The Space in Hamden. For more information on these upcoming shows and on their new album "Elder", please visit www.sadred.com.
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"Brooklyn’s Sad Red Releases Moody, Melodic, Eclectic “Elder”"

Watch out, everyone — Sad Red may be actively channeling Philip Glass rocking out to Nick Drake on the Brooklyn band’s latest record, Elder. Give ‘em some space.

That may seem like a simplistic aural comparison, but it’s an accurate one. Besides, it’s not like such a course of action would necessarily be a bad thing. (And frankly, who wouldn’t want to watch that? Especially if there’s a musical exorcism involved.)

But make no mistake, Sad Red’s influences aren’t limited to one arena or genre (and you’re right if you’re thinking that a Glass/Drake one-two punch is a pretty heavyhanded move). Rather, they’re all over the map. Elder isn’t shoegazer at all, but fans of the genre are likely to enjoy this album (also, just a hunch, but Alice in Chains fans may be besides themselves).

Minimalism can be a lazy label, but not when applied correctly. Sad Red’s latest effort is moody and dark, yes, but it’s also evocative. Not a lot of bands can say that. The genre got its sea legs with bands such as Stars With Fleas and saw its torch carried on — in part, and in a big way — by groups like Grizzly Bear.

As for breakthrough potential, Elder’s album-closer, “Glass,” easily lends itself to radio play (but on a radio station that’s plugged in enough to truly “get it”), while “The Garden and the Lemon Tree” (stream below) successfully embodies the airy nostalgia of the childhood memories described therein. In short, the good gospel of Sad Red possesses the basic qualities it needs to spread further — perhaps beginning tonight at Brooklyn’s Union Hall, where the band celebrates the record’s street release with fellow locals Hungry Hands and Dusty Brown. - Dunce Cap Quarterly


"Various Clippings"

"Sounds a bit like The Mars Volta; just a tad though, but brill!" - Stephanie B. in England

"This is what fucking rock and roll should be! If it ain't SadRed, it's just plain bad head." - Hippie Grenade

"What a killin' band!" - Amphis Baena

"Really fucking good. " - Aztec Furies - None


Discography

Elder - Full Length (2010)
"The Garden and The Lemon Tree" - Single (2010)
EP 2 - 2008
"Glass" Single (2008) - Clear Channel Internet Radio Play. Ranked #1 for 2 weeks
EP 1 (2007)

Photos

Bio

"Delivering their music in always-evocative ways, Sad Red gives their listeners a taste of the familiar before adding their own electronic, playful, and impeccably-arranged twists. Versatile rock god-esque vocals front the moody songs carrying them from their soft intros to their powerful and at times other-worldly cores."
- Foundwaves

Bio: We can play our instruments. Like, for real. We all moved to New York when we were 18 to become the most raging bad asses we possibly could. We were musical sluts all over town learning everything our greasy little hands could finger. Finally we met each other in our early 20s and decided to band together in order to shit on the competition. Oh, and also to make the best music ever.

Musical Influences: Soundgarden, Dirty Projectors, The Netherlands, Radiohead, Marissa Nadler, Grizzly Bear, Nirvana

Literary Influences: Currently JG Ballard, Jorge Luis Borges, TS Eliot