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)
Here is a cool interview with Justin Maurer. He talks about his new book Seventeen Television, The Clorox Girls, and living in L.A. There’s even brief mention of his time in the Red Dons. Buy his books & records! They are the best.
It had been quite a while since the Red Dons last played in Los Angeles. About four years to be exact. Ever since, a couple friends and I have anxiously awaited their return. Well worth the wait, they played the Blue Star Cafe in downtown Los Angeles on Sept 6 (2012). Even better than when they played here a few years back. I would go as far to say they’re the best band I’ve seen all year. And I have seen some pretty good bands (Night Birds, Urban Blight, Rational Animals, NASA Space Universe, No Babies, Trench Rot, Hysterics, Grimace) within the span of a couple months. But Red Dons have this undeniable energy and presence. Everyone in the band seems genuinely happy to be on stage and playing music. The whole time they are constantly moving around, jumping into the crowd, and never missing a beat. Their recent seven inch, Ausländer, on Dirtnap is not to be snoozed on. Get it now! Play it repeatedly. I do. It’s one of those records that when I listen to it, I can’t help but go, “Gah!! What an amazing record!!!” The title track is perfect. Stop you dead in your tracks type perfect. -Matt Average
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
Red Dons & The Estranged will be touring the West Coast together at the end of the summer. Here are the dates. We will be filling in the details as they are confirmed. Make sure to check back periodically as dates and times are subject to change. We hope to see you at one of the shows.
8/29 – Seattle, WA @ Black Lodge w/ Criminal Code, Kohosh
8/30 – Victoria, BC @ Logan’s Pub w/ Specter, No Problem
8/31 – Vancouver, BC @ Iron Road Studios w/ Spectres, No Problem
9/1 – Portland, OR @ Black Water w/ Spectres, Autistic Youth
9/2 – Oakland, CA @ 1234 go! Records w/ Neon Piss
9/3 – Goleta, CA @ Hard to Find w/ NO///se
9/4 – Long Beach @ Prospector w/ LA Drugz
9/5 – Pamona, CA @ Vince Lombardi High School
9/6 – Los Angeles @ Blue Star w/ LA Drugz, Maniac
9/7 – San Diego @ Shakedown
9/8 – San Francisco, CA @ Thrillhouse w/ Synthetic ID
9/9 – Portland, OR @ The Know w/ Bellicose Minds
Here is a link to a very cool article by Oliver Sheppard about contemporary post-punk.
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/ .
Red Dons at Blitz in Oslo 5.5.11, Photo by Trish Bronte
Here is a piece by Trish Bronte about Portland Punk featuring interviews with Red Dons and Tragedy. This originally aired on September 12th, 2011 as a segment on the Bra Trommis program on Radio Nova in Norway. It is narrated in Norwegian but our responses remain in English so you can still make out most of what the interview covers.
Portland Punk on Radio Nova