Produced at Sine Studios (Motown, Bon Jovi) and mastered at Sterling Sound by Grammy-winning engineer Joe LaPorta (David Bowie, Foo Fighters, the Weeknd, Imagine Dragons), the “Hearts” EP by Redox Envy features the kinds of killer hooks and lush atmospherics that seem to bypass your ears and go straight to your soul. Band members – David on drums, Kevin on lead guitar, and Ken taking vocals, bass, rhythm guitar, and keys, are skilled craftsmen and sound passionate about what they do. With a four catchy songs, the demonstratively upbeat Philadelphia trio’s EP dares you to categorize them, assess them, or even engage with them.
Once you get past the genre paranoia, “Hearts” actually has enough going for it that the songs dodge and weave stylistically; avoiding perceived critical jabs by scavenging pop history for new old sounds. The band’s proud maximalist musical values also extend cannily to their songwriting.
Redox Envy can write a chorus so bold and simple that you can hear it once and sing it for a fortnight, a tactic that will make minor hits of “Is It Loud Enough?”, “Though I Know The Game” and “Higher Than Real Life (featuring Meghan Algeo)”
Particularly hoisted onto such dense production, the hooks are so big, blunt, and persistent that even my four-year-old nephew want’s to count Redox Envy as his favorite band. Redox Envy can’t help but write catchy tunes that lend themselves to humming in the shower, but also allow for digging deeper into their true artistic intentions.
David, Kevin and Ken have clearly learnt how to harness both two sides to make them work in equal harmony, so they balance substance with pure catchiness.
That’s not to say that the trio’s latest offering is a difficult EP by any means – there’s nothing on here that would sound out of place on FM Radio or on any mainstream chart- but Redox Envy have come up with a recording that thrives on variation and cleverly masked intricacy.
If anything, the “Hearts” EP proves that Redox Envy are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to writing potential hit material. Part 90’s guitar crunch without the overpowering weirdness, part 80’s pop revival in the best way possible, the EP is 100% gold and holds a wealth of promise.
There can be no doubt that this EP is perfect for summer listening and a brand of indie music that is poised to break into the mainstream. It offers enough as a work of music past the auditory pleasure of unfailingly catchy hooks and undeniably cool atmospheres – which is no small feat on its own. Strong both vocally and musically, Redox Envy lives up to the hype on all levels.