Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Vile Red Falcons “Under Your Skin”

Vile Red Falcons “Under Your Skin”

After selling out their 2009 first self produced/self titled EP the Vile Red Falcons entered Egg Studios (Seattle) in January of 2011 with legendary engineer Conrad Uno behind the controls and started recording their first full length LP titled “Under Your Skin.” Released in January of 2012 “Under Your Skin” is a mix of new material and updated songs off their EP release.

I’ve listen to the CD a lot. Not just for this review but more as just has a huge Vile Red Falcons fan. Listening to “Under Your Skin” for the first time, my immediate thought was-these dudes have a Queens of the Stone Age vibe going on, and I like it! They do as far as it bloody well rocking and making me replay the CD again as soon as it’s finished. Well written, recorded..bla bla bla...all that’s true and the end of the day Under Your Skin is one the best rockin CD’s you’ll listen to this year.

Sludgy, fuzzy, two guitar, Tacoma grown, Pacific Northwest rock at it’s best. Grunge-like in guitar tone and drone, sure... but not trying to reinvent the 90’s. Maybe just a subtle reminder of some of the good stuff about that decade and the NW rock scene. Ten songs starting off with one of my personal favorites the up tempo “Touch” followed by the wah-wah lead guitar heavy “Lazy Day” and right into hard ripping “Like a Drug” with its blazing solo and catchy hooks. One through Ten this CD never lets ups and is solid throughout. There are a few slower paced, thought provoking songs “Devil Send” and “Bugs” nicely placed right in the middle of the CD that really show how the Vile Red Falcons can get deep while still delivering the goods of being a distorted, guitar-riff driven band.

Being a guitar tone geek I chatted with Nate Rich guitarist for Vile Red Falcons via emails  about some of the gear used on this album  that got the guitars sounding so right. Nate says  John was playing his JCM800 head threw a 4x12 cabinet and he was playing a small home made single ended 7watt amp that he built a few years ago thru a 4x12 cab.  Both guitarists  used overdrive pedals as a clean boost to too to push the amps on solos but for the most part, it's just the sound of those amps cranked up along with a little Wah pedal here and there. An interesting note on the JCM800 is that it use to be a combo that was owned by the guitarist for Huey Lewis and The News in the 80's.  He built a head cab for it and uses it as a head.  Since recording the record, John got a Union Jack amp that he uses live and I use a 59 bassman clone that I built into a head and use with a 4x12 cab.

For guitars, John played a Gibson Les Paul Studio and a USA Custom Guitars telecaster clone with a humbucker in it.  Nate played an 80's fender Strat with a mini Humbucker in it.

Speaking about engineer Conrad Uno’s role in the recording of “Under Your Skin” and achieving the “sound” the band was looking for Nate told me, “ The big thing that Conrad did for us was be able to capture the guitar sounds exactly how they sounded in the room with the amps.  We tried recording a few times before both by ourselves and with others and were never able to get the guitars to sound as good on tape as they did live.  Conrad was able to get the right sound right away.  He's a real rock guitar kind of guy and knows exactly how to get the sound that's coming out of the amp on to the tape without messing it up.  He was also pretty good at letting us know when to stop beating the song to death.  For the most part, we tried to let him mix the album without getting in his way.  We liked the sound of all the other albums he had done and wanted him to do the same for ours.”

The Vile Red Falcons are one of those local NW bands that you listen to and just know...ya just know these guys are stars in the making. Highly recommend checking out “Out of Touch!” The Vile Red Falcons are John Beidel (Vocals, Guitar), Nate Rich (Guitar), James Bench (Bass) and Kevin Kuldun (Drums).

Under Your Skin can be bought online from The Vile Red Falcons website at www.vileredfalcons.com or on www.cdbaby.com.  It's also available in Tacoma at Rocket Records, in Ballard at Sonic Boom Records, or in Seattle at any of the Silver Platters.   Within the next several weeks it should be available on itunes, Amazon, and from Ozium records in Sweden.

Blackhole Music Magazine NW

Official Website    www.vileredfalcons.com

Facebook Page     facebook.com/vileredfalcons

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