REVIEW: RED SUN RISING – POLYESTER ZEAL (2016)

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RSR make a bid for Euro glory

Originally released back in the August of 2015 in their native US, “Polyester Zeal”  – the third album from Akron, Ohio’s Red Sun Rising, reached number 41 in the US Billboard Charts.

Now, signed to Spinefarm in Europe the collection sees the light of day on this side of the pond, as the five piece make a bid to be stars over here too.

And actually, there’s no reason to suppose they wouldn’t have a damn good shot.

First, it sounds magnificent. That is probably due to the fact that Bob Marlette is Producer, Mixer and Engineer here. Marlette has worked with just about everyone from Sabbath to Tracy Chapman, but its work with Black Stone Cherry that most races to mind here. That is to say, he knows exactly how to make US arena sounding rock that we Brits lap up – and that’s exactly what “…Zeal” is.

It’s trump card is without doubt, it’s first track. “Push” bursts out of the traps like some bastard son of Alter Bridge and Stone Temple Pilots. It is possessed with an urgency, with a pulsing, coursing energy – and crucially only an American band could have made it.

That’s true of the rest too. “Amnesia” works the old maxim of “don’t bore us get to the chorus” and provides a huge hook just in case there was any doubt. “The Otherside” is no more and no less than the best song AIC never wrote – and the double tracked vocals mean they aren’t even hiding the intention either.

There is no doubt under these finger nails. Every single note here is perfect, but it worked for Shinedown, and “My Muse” has “radio hit” running right through it, and if “Emotionless” is a brooding, acoustic infused strum then it is perhaps an adjective that could be applied to the record itself.

That’s not to say “Polyester Zeal” is a bad album – unequivocally it is not – but there’s a feeling that there is nothing organic about it.

“Blister” is a huge sounding ballad, “World’s Away” adds a synthesiser lick and some harmony vocals, “Unnatural” is what passes for chance taking here, with its odd timescales in the verses – but don’t worry, there’s an enormous mid-section on the way too.

It does need saying too, that RSR can write a mighty, stomping hook – “Awake” is a fine example of that,  and “Bliss” isn’t far behind.

Time will tell whether they make the break through, but this is clean arena rock either way. A good record, with some superb moments, it does, though, like it’s title suggests, feel a little man made.

Rating 7.5/10

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