It’s been a little while since we covered any Australian bands but we’re putting that right in style with the fun, catchy but hard-hitting sound of Sydney trio RedHook. The band have honed a lively punk-laced rock sound that deliciously blends heavy riffs and feisty vocals with catchy pop elements – and a saxophone solo – that they describe as “hectic, emotional and fun.”
RedHook was started by vocalist Emmy Mack, who’d been sitting on a batch of songs that were mixed and mastered ready for release with their previous bassist. She soon found guitarist Craig Wilkinson – who tells us he didn’t make the cut on his first try out! – before they brought on drummer Alex Powys – who initially turned the band down but they eventually wore him down – after searching for Bring Me The Horizon drumming covers.
And on the sound they’ve honed since, Craig says: “Please make sure your seats are in an upright position, and enjoy the flight. We may also experience some turbulence!”
Our first taste of RedHook was the outrageously catchy Bad Decisions – which we played in our latest GigRadio podcast episode. It opens up with light vocals “I’m a fucked up mess, Feeling angry and depressed, I make bad decisions,” which gives way to a lively stabbing riff and heavy drums. A light verse flows into a big catchy chorus of “When did I grow into a fucked up mess, Feeling angry and depressed, I make bad decisions, I make bad decisions, I’m in so much debt, So I’m getting off my head, I make bad decisions, I make bad decisions.”
A second chorus gives way to rapped vocals over a stabbing guitar riff and drums, then laid-back vocals flow into a fun little guitar solo. And that drops into a couple of final blast of the chorus to bring the track to a heavy ending.
On the track, Emmy says: “I think Bad Decisions represents the perfect intersection of all RedHook’s most defining dualities. It’s equal parts aggression and vulnerability, darkness and brightness, heaviness and lightness, pop sensibilities and unpredictable sonic fuckery.” Check it out this absolute banger in the video here:
Bad Decisions comes from the band’s debut EP of the same name, on which Craig tells us: “We’re so damn pumped to finally get our debut EP Bad Decisions out to the world, we’d been sitting on it for more than six months! We were super lucky to be able to finish recording the EP at Electric Sun Studios with Stevie Knight and Dave Petrovic just before the COVID lockdown kicked in, and had us stuck inside fighting to get toilet paper at the shops.
“I like to think there’s something for everyone on Bad Decisions – from emotional ballads that tug on your heart strings, to fast drum and bass metalcore to get you going #sanicfast… we were even able to tap into my musical roots and throw a saxophone solo on a funk song with heavy guitars in Drop A#.”
Also on the EP is the feisty Kamikaze, which dives into a low-tuned guitar riff that drops into whispery vocals that develop into edgy rapped vocals. A big chorus kicks in led by the engaging vocals “Kamikaze, Can’t see where we’re going, Road to ruin lies ahead, Please brace for turbulence, Any idiot could see, idiot could see. Kamikaze, Can’t seem to escape it, Going off the grid, don’t care, This way to certain death, This Kamikaze, Kamikaze, can’t see” over fun synth sounds and guitars.
A second chorus drops into a booming riff that continues under big screams from guest vocalist Will King from Melbourne band Windwaker, then Emmy takes over with “And now it’s far too late, To change your mind and turn around, This plane’s coming down,” which flows into a lively final chorus. Check it out here:
And if that wasn’t enough to have you hooked then check out Cure 4 Psycho, which begins with light guitar under Emmy’s engaging vocals, which builds into a big catchy chorus. The second verse begins with the lines “Up there on your soapbox, so damn loud, Preaching about mental health, But the only time you give a fuck, Is when it affects yourself,” then brief rapped vocals feed into another chorus. Check it out in the video below:
This is an impressive debut EP packed with fun and energetic tracks, including lively track Your Heroes Are Bullshit, which includes the screamed vocals “Sit down, Shut up, Act like you give a fuck, Stand up, Scream loud, Hey individual, You’re just a face in the crowd” and a delicious screamalong chorus.
As alluded to above, the RedHook sound is heavily influenced by Bring Me The Horizon. As Craig tells us: “These guys are constantly paving the way for modern heavy music that pushes the boundaries of genre and style. Very excited to hear and see what they’ll do next, their latest record is amazing. We’ve taken a lot of influence from these guys.”
And on what inspires them to write music, Craig adds: “We all come from very different musical backgrounds, and that’s why I think we’re able to come up with the weird, wonderful cohesion that is the RedHook sound. This EP was written during a time where we all had a lot going on in our personal lives and needed to express that. As a result, there is a lot of honesty and vulnerability about mental health, frustration, self-doubt, depression and not being able to find a place in the world to fit in.”
With things slowly getting back towards ‘normal’ in Australia, venues are opening up and that means RedHook not only have tour dates but sold out their headline tour of Australia. They also hope to get over to Europe and the UK once things clear up here too. And they’ve also begun writing the next batch of RedHook songs, which they hope they’ll be able to release quicker than last time around!
And Craig adds: “We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during these strange times. Bad Decisions is dedicated to all the weird apples out there, like us. We hope it brings you comfort in the dark and helps you feel less alone.”