Friday, February 22, 2013

Music Review: ‘Release the Panic’ by Red

By Allison Christensen
Cardinal Staff

Red, the four-man rock group from Nashville, Tenn., revolutionizes Christian rock music with their new album, “Release the Panic.” 

The band members Michael Barnes (vocals), Anthony Armstrong (guitar), Randy Armstrong (bass) and Joe Rickard (drums) strived to make this album completely different from any other Christian rock album. “Release the Panic” has a darker, harsher sound than Red’s previous albums. The lyrics deal with mortality, redemption and living in a materialistic culture. Inspiration for the song ‘Perfect Life’ came from the people of Los Angeles, where the band lived while recording the album. 

“As we recorded in Los Angeles, the inspiration for that song was all around us, all the time,” said Anthony Armstrong. “So many people have themselves convinced they’re living the sweet life, the good life, and some have worked really hard to get there, but it’s the people who are trying, clawing their way to live this kind of life that’s troubling.”  

Red stands apart from other Christian rock bands because they do not make it obvious that they are putting out a Christian message. Upon the first listen, the track “Damage” is simply a great rock song with screaming vocals and an intense, head-banging beat. The lyrics, however, reveal a deeper meaning, a cry for redemption: “Take this away; it was just a mistake. Save me; ‘cause all I do is damage.”

Every song on the album has a message hidden behind the guitar riffs, pounding drums and screaming vocals. Red’s goal for these songs was to challenge their fans to really think about what they are listening to. 

Producer Howard Benson said, “The thing I like about this record is that they’re very forward-thinking songs for a rock band.”

“Release the Panic” is enjoyed by rock fans and Christian music fans alike. If you consider yourself one, but not the other, broaden your horizons and check out “Release the Panic” and other music by Red at

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