RED SUN RISING – Polyester Zeal (2015)

RED SUN RISING - Polyester Zeal (2015) full


In a generation of generic, same-old-same insipid modern rock bands that have been popping up in the USA like weeds devouring the heavy music landscape, it is a fantastic surprise when one finds something more blooming in the rough. Akron, Ohio’s RED SUN RISING is an example of a modern-day hard rock outfit that does more than made songs for the radio with auto-tune.
Their debut “Polyester Zeal” is modern, yes, with some alternative twists, yes, but refreshing and rocking.

The quintet took root with longtime friends, vocalist Mike Protich and guitarist Ryan Williams. Guitarist Tyler Valendza, bassist Ricky Miller, and drummer Pat Gerasia round out the band which has made a name for itself through its tight live performances and well-crafted songwriting.

Produced by powerhouse knob-twiddler Bob Marlette (Black Sabbath, Sebastian Bach) Red Sun Rising’s debut release “Polyester Zeal” is not breaking new ground so much as it is re-imagining the past with an eye on nuance and an ear for melody.
At first listen, the debut single ‘The Otherside’ offers a glimpse of the band’s melodic and anthemic sound. It is a catchy spin and an outstanding introduction to the band. Yet this same track is in many ways the weakest of the record’s offerings for it is the most formulaic in the modern mainstream sense. Still, lead singer Mike Protich’s ferocious vocals are far from the usual ‘radio-rock’ cut.

RED SUN RISING - Polyester Zeal (2015) inside

The album’s opener, ‘Push’, is an aggressive and addictive kick-start to Polyester Zeal’s sonic journey. Immediately the listener gets a sense that the band understands the importance of shadows and subtlety that have long been all but missing from present US Rock. It is these little moments that make a song stand the test of time.
The next track and a personal favorite is ‘Amnesia’. If Alice And Chains and Cheap Trick ever fathered a child, this song would be the result. Huge melodies combine with strong and driving rhythms to create a retro vibe that culminates with an infectious chorus. Protich’s delivery is outstanding and blends perfectly with Miller’s strong backing vocals.

Many bands influenced by ’90s artists attempt to infuse a pinch of the ’70s into their music as well, but few can pull it off to positive effect. Red Sun Rising manage to blend the best of both eras in an organic and genuine manner, which makes all the difference. This is filtered through the band’s own modern approach to songwriting, and it pays big dividends on songs like the darkly emotive ‘My Muse’ and the gritty acoustic swing of ‘Emotionless’.

RED SUN RISING - Polyester Zeal (2015) front

Throughout “Polyester Zeal” 11 tracks there exist numerable moments where the songs go a different direction than one might expect, or build in exciting ways. That is one of the most delightful aspects of Red Sun Rising’s music; not generic and verse-chorus-verse, often the songs end much differently than they begin.
Red Sun Rising are not reinventing the wheel, but they do make the ride much more exhilarating.
“Polyester Zeal” is one of the most exciting debut albums that US Rock has experienced in recent years. Red Sun Rising is off to a promising start with this release, and those who have lamented the death of true Rock music in America can rejoice at another hopeful example of the genre’s long overdue return.

01 – Push
02 – Amnesia
03 – The Otherside
04 – My Muse
05 – Emotionless
06 – Blister
07 – Worlds Away
08 – Unnatural
09 – Awake
10 – Bliss
11 – Imitation

Mike Protich – Vocals, Guitar
Ryan Williams – Guitar
Tyler Valendza – Guitar
Ricky Miller – Bass, Vocals
Pat Gerasia – Drums
Rustyn Rose – Words


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