RED SODA – Decades To Midnight (2019)
From time to time we present here at 0dayrox artists from the Synthwave scene. Dozens of new names appear each month, and we select only the best. Most are ‘one-man-band’ projects creating home-made music based on synths. But there’s also ‘real bands’ in this genre and this is the case with RED SODA. “Decades To Midnight” is the title of their new album, and believe me, they are better than many current major label acts.
Hailing from France, the core of Red Soda are vocalist Soda Runk and multi-instrumentalist Fred Colombo (keyboards, synths, programming, backing vocals) also main songwriter & producer. However this is a stable group with rotating musicians including a guitar player, bassist and human drummer.
Red Soda got several albums / EP under their belt, and play live regular gigs per month. So we’re talkig about a ‘real band’ here.
Additionally, Red Soda craft each album in a professional way: “Decades To Midnight” has been mixed & mastered by Colombo at Niss’art Studio in Nice. Not your typical Synthwave pro-tools home production.
And what about the music then?
Red Soda are obviously synth based retro-wave, but they sound like a real rock&pop band from the ’80s. Not only in its instrumentation, performances and mix, but also production-wise. Forget here the ‘low-fi’ style (which I love btw) of many Synthwave artists, Red Soda “Decades To Midnight” sounds huge.
Think Kenny Loggins circa 1986 (the track ‘Red Alert’), Johnny Hates Jazz (‘Tears We Cry’) and a-Ha (‘Virtually Yours’). Of course several tracks are more synth oriented such as ‘The Road to Forever’ (akin Magic Dance), or ‘Arcade Hero’ which title speaks by itself, sounding like if taken from Robocop’s soundtrack.
Then Red Soda are different as well due their ‘rock pulse’: they add real guitar solos to most of the songs, and quite killer if you ask me.
Take as example “Big Child”. The song starts pretty synth based, but at the second verse Soda Runk’s vocals sounds like a young Chris Ousey, and the song overall pretty much like ’80s AOR British bands. But wait, then a kick ass guitar solo explodes in a true Melodic Rock fashion.
Many of the songs feature guitars solos – mostly performed by Matt Hodson, a guy who worked alongside Colombo for the great Lance King (Balance Of Power) last solo album – so expect an axe-man with a metal profile.
Besides, Red Soda make a wise and clever use of saxophone (check ‘On-Tape Romance’) with punchy effects sounding like a guitar.
I am in love with Red Soda. These guys nailed the true ’80s sound & feel like few.
“Decades to Midnight” is pitch-perfect ’80s rock&pop with flawless production, first class performances (did I mentioned that Soda Runk is a great vocalist?) and most importantly: great songs!
Seriously, while marketed as part of the Synthwave scene, musically Red Soda are much more expansive than this particular genre, and have crafted here a genuine retro album that sounds like it really was made in the mid-80s.
Do you love the ’80s? You can’t miss “Decades to Midnight”. Believe me.
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01 – The Road to Forever
02 – Red Alert
03 – Tears We Cry
04 – Virtually Yours (Press Start)
05 – Strobe Love
06 – Arcade Hero
07 – Nightscape
08 – Mom
09 – Big Child
10 – On-Tape Romance
11 – What You Mean to Me
12 – Under the Bridge
13 – Try Again
Lead vocals: Soda Runk
Keyboards, synths, programming, backing vocals: Fred Colombo
Lead vocals on “Nightscape” by Fred Colombo
Guitar solos on “Arcade Hero” & “Big Child” by Matt Hodsdon
Saxophone by Olivier Hoarau
Guitars on “Red Alert” & “Virtually Yours” by Julien Negro
Guitar on “Under The Bridge” by Ryan Leslie