Red Dons and The Estranged are featured together in an interview published in the December issue of Maximum RockNRoll #355.
RAZORCAKE ISSUE #71
I’m of the opinion that Red Dons are the best band walking the planet today. I fuggin’ love this band! They have this way of making music that causes everything else around you to melt away and all that is left is the music. You are completely in that moment. It’s a great feeling. The songs soar, race, and have undeniable soul. Catchy without being corny. Insightful without being overwrought. Just fucking great music. The title track is godhead! I’ve listened to it over and over so many times, and have yet to tire of it. Is that even possible? It’s such a great song. A nice, quick tempo and the vocals float over, pulling you into the song, and the chorus burns into your mind. I like how the guitar comes in at the end and builds and closes out with a noisy swirl. The kind of song that makes you want to start a band and take over the world. On the B side is “Mauvaise Foi,” which slows down a little bit with a jerky and bouncy rhythm here and there. When the melody comes in, nothing else matters. I really like the line, “Anointed one, where did I go wrong,” as it leads into the verse. This single is a classic. –Matt Average (Dirtnap, dirtnaprecs.com)
We released a new record today. Copies are available through Dirtnap Records. We will also have copies with us on our west coast tour next month. Here is how some folks describe the release.
[POST-PUNK POP] Red Dons’ moddish post-punk has never lacked for melody, but the Dons’ new Dirtnap Records 7-inch might be the Portland quartet’s most comely pop product yet. A-side “Auslander” comes within spitting distance of the five-minute mark without ever threatening to overstay its welcome, which is a rare feat. The anthem flies by in classic Adverts fashion, with punk fury mellowed by a helping of melancholic world-weariness; it’s one of those expansive love songs in which romance escapes the trite ties of pair-bonding and attaches itself to existential equations. Which is to say you don’t need to be in love to love “Auslander.” You need only be alive. – Willamette Week
“Red Dons at their most straightforward, melodic, and powerful. The A side in particular might be their best song yet. 2 new tracks, written in 2010-2011 between Chicago, Brazil, London, Portland, and Hamburg, recorded in Sweden in a cold war era bomb shelter during a 2011 European tour by Lars Ekman (Hanna Hirsch, Förmögenhet). Look for a west coast tour with The Estranged in September 2012. All copies come with download coupon. FIRST 200 ARE ON BLUE VINYL AND ARE AVAILABLE ONLY FROM GREEN NOISE RECORDS! Also available on black vinyl.” -Dirtnap Records
Reviewed by Mickeyslim at KFJC 89.7 FM in California
Red Dons is the primary band from what’s called the Vagabond Sound Music Collective based in Portland, started by Doug Burns (lead vocals/guitar) and Hajji Husayn (bass/vocals). While many folks have been in and out of the band, this collection is Burns, Husayn, Richard Joachim (drums/vocals) and Will Kinser (lead guitar) of Born/Dead (see A library).
Pariah is a very fast, in yo’ face punk track with a flat, repetetive guitar melody in the background. These guys know how to rock out.
It’s Your Right is a GEM! It changes tempo a couple times in the song, and switches from what sounds like three different tracks. They fit together very well. PLAY THIS SONG!
Very versatile for a punk group, these guys are pro.
Good news for anyone upset that they had no way of rockin’ out to Fake Meets Failure on their Walkman. Our friends from The Great White North, Hosehead Records, have just released a cassette version of our 2010 album. It’s an extremely limited run, so be sure to get a copy before supplies run out. We have a limited amount available off our website. Just go to the store link at the top of the page. If we’ve run out, there should be more available at http://hoseheadrecords.bigcartel.com/ .
[audio:07 Superficial 1.mp3]
By this point, most of you probably already know and / or love RED DONS. For those of you who don’t, this band is comprised of members of the OBSERVERS, CLOROX GIRLS, and BORN/DEAD. As for influences, I can hear X and WIPERS the most, and maybe even some MISSION OF BURMA here and there, but not as artsy. Their overall northwest sound brings it all together nicely. Highly recommended! (BD)
A Forced Turning Point
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Se Foi: Mastered
As you may know by now I’ve been Mastering on a regular basis and I will be posting some samples of my work before and after. Nothing better to start off with than a song taken from the new Red Dons 7″ available on European tour this April. If you’d like more information contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. -Hajji
Se Foi: Unmastered
[audio:01 Se Foi (Vox Up).mp3]
Se Foi: Mastered
Follow the latest North London Bomb Factory’s projects here http://www.reddons.com/?page_id=767.
Photo by Mateus Mondini
Check out the new Razorcake Podcast. It features the Red Dons, Tranzmitors, Mean Jeans, Defect Defect, Crusades and a bunch of other great bands.
RED DONS: Fake Meets Failure: LP
Lightning. Pure, white-hot, hot-streaking, sizzling, punk lightning. It’s punk that people who’ve “given up,” “don’t get,” or “moved on” from punk have the highest percentage of liking. It’s just so obviously scorching, beautiful, and crackling music, regardless of genre. And I was reluctant to admit that lightning could strike twice. One of the driving forces behind Red Dons is Doug Burns, the lead singer and guitarist of the untouchable every-member-made-it-greater band, The Observers. The Red Dons first LP, Death to Idealism, while it had its bright spots, sounded covered in blankets, a little restricted and restrained, a little awkward, a little tentative. Getting used to new skin. Not so with Fake Meets Failure. The burka’s ripped off, faces are revealed, and those faces are screaming. Analogous to the transformation of the Vicious to Masshysteri or Sexy to Future Virgins, it took a little time from the dusk of one band to the dawn of another, but the newer band, exhibiting similar genetic code to its predecessor, has developed its own personality, its own habits, and has accomplished what many, including myself, didn’t think was possible: release more music that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with some of their own legacy’s finest work. One of the best punk records of 2010, hands down. –Todd (Deranged)
Photo by Mateus Mondini
Okay… so this is the new Red Dons LP. I should start by saying that Red Dons could very well be the best punk rock band on Earth. Death to Idealism is without question one of my favorite records of the modern era, due in no small part to its unique (and not universally loved) production. But mostly it is the songs—logical extensions of The Observers melancholic take on ‘80s East Coast punk rock, with a deeper injection of the East Bay Ray or Mike Palm lead style—that seat Red Dons atop the heap, and Fake Meets Failure boasts the band’s best songs to date. The production on the record is noticeably more aggressive than that of its predecessor, and the songs themselves are both catchier and angrier. Whether intentional or not, Doug even channels Jello on a few spoken lines on the record, perfectly complimenting the ominous, middle-eastern scale leads found throughout. Lyrically, Red Dons remain painfully jarring, both in- and outwardly, and Doug’s vocals are more haunting and pure than ever. In a year already full of great punk rock records, this is by far the best I’ve heard so far, and it’s going to be incredibly difficult to surpass. Phenomenal. –Dave Williams (Deranged)
Our new LP Fake Meets Failure and the single Pariah are now available for purchase off our website. To find these records and more go to the STORE page on our site. Below is a recent review of Fake Meets Failure. To read more reviews go to the REVIEWS page.
“FAKE MEETS FAILURE” reviewed by Zac of Caught in the Crossfire.
Portland’s Red Dons are back with another prime slab of punk rock following up their unbelievable debut ‘Death To Idealism‘ that was released back in 2007 to rapturous applause in the underground scene and on this very website. Most second albums go through the mill somewhat but with the band’s history including members forming The Observers, Clorox Girls and more this was always going to be a release to wait for and the result is nothing other than pure brilliance.
From the off, Fake Meets Failure revs up its engines and delivers riffs to die for and sheer punk rock excellence. Land of Reason chugs straight into where Death To Idealism left us with blood and dirt, exploding bombs and very much in the hands of killers as vocalist Douglas Burns slams his political stances across his songs. The beauty of his offerings are not only edgy but melodic too as each song of the ten on offer here just cut into your ears and make you want to grab the lyric sheet just like your favourite punk and h/c records of old. 3rd track ‘Pariah‘ must have done the same thing for them as the band get mighty close to borrowing a few screaming riff solos from the likes of The Adolescents but knowing that this bands roots come from this world and they have taken it to a new level I guess they are allowed to fully get away with it. This only adds to the wonderful nostalgia of this record, it’s not often that bands in the naughties can replicate the quality songwriting of our leading punk rock predecessors but when it comes with bands such as Regulations and Career Suicide as another 2 examples of bands who touch that nerve it’s absolutely brilliant and people need to know they still exist.
One of the main stand outs on this record for me is ‘Pieces’. 5 tracks into the album and the hail of ‘Armageddon!’ starts one of the best punk rock songs ever written covering rejection, dejection, brutal truth and oppression all summed up in 3 minutes and 6 seconds. Another track on repeat in my car from this album is ‘Enemy Ears’ that kind of takes the very best of The Briefs and mashes it up with the force of Dead Kennedys for flavour but obviously written in Red Dons’ uniquely melodic and chuggy way.
Overall if you love hardcore and punk from the good old days, read Flipside and Maximum Rock and Roll for years and have been to see every touring band like us you are going to be stoked when you realize that those incredible records are still being made to this day. Make sure you don’t download it for free off some shit blog on the internet, go and support this band and buy a CD or a slab of their amazing vinyl that someone has made for you right now, you will not be disappointed. -Zac