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RED TIGER Evolution

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Friday, September 14, 2018 @ 8:33 AM


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RED TIGER
Evolution

LXG Records




Evolution is inevitable. Not so much though when it comes to the musical arena. Some bands never evolve and doom themselves to musical stagnation. Such is not the case with Houston's Puerto Rican transplants RED TIGER. Four years after the release of their second album, Alive...And Still Believing, the band returns with a new opus, aptly titled Evolution. One thing that's been a constant for the band in the past four years is change, as the band has had a few lineup adjustments occur in the positions of bassist and guitarist in that time, but the core founding songwriting duo of lead vocalist Red Latu and drummer Alejandro (Alex) Figueroa remain. The band has certainly evolved but the one question that remains is could the band get lightning to strike the same place twice and duplicate the effort that put forth the exceptional Alive... release?

One thing about RED TIGER is that they take a vested interest in any criticism of the band, no matter how great or small. That is never more evident than it is with the album's leadoff track. In my review of Alive...And Still Believing (review HERE) I noted some slight dismay with the band's choice of opening track, choosing a mellow song instead of a more uptempo one. The band not only took notice of the minor critique but they made damn sure not to repeat the same mistake twice. The end result was the fastest, most uptempo song the band has recorded to date and a nice message to any naysayers that might be out there that this band isn't going anywhere. Titled, what else, "Never Going Away", the song gets the CD started at breakneck speed and is not only an excellent kickoff for the disc but could also serve as the opener for their live performances.

"I'm tired of people saying
that my time has come to an end.
I ain't lying when I say
that I'm never going away.
Look at the stage
you know that's where I'll be.
So start believing
cause I ain't leaving.
I'm never going to go away."

Indeed.

The band's growth and maturity is evident on Evolution as this disc is chock full of hard rock gems like the title track, "Dove Love" and the anthemic "Texas", a track co-written by the band's manager that admittedly I wasn't too impressed by at first listen but after a few more spins this one grew on me. By substituting "Texas" in the chorus, this song could be personalized for just about any city or state the band happens to be playing in. The album also contains one of the most heartfelt, emotional ballads I've ever heard in the form of "Until We Meet Again", written by drummer Figueroa following the death of his father and for anyone who has lost a close loved one such as this, the track will bring you near to tears so have a tissue ready.

Once you've put the Kleenex away it's time to get back to the rock with "Noise & Rhythm" and "Rise Up". It's also worth noting that recording guitarist Alexis Perez, who recorded all of the band's album thus far and actually still resides in Puerto Rico but was flown in for the CD release show a few weeks back, rips off some impressive solos on Evolution. New bassist Jahaziel Ramirez proves he's no slouch as well as he provides some really nice low end grooves on several of the tracks. The band offers up another mellow respite in the acoustic "Foolish Heart", a duet with local singer Caroline Gomez who complements the track with her angelic vocals. IT's back to the rock once more with "Tomorrow Might Never Come", sung by Figueroa, and the anti-bullying track "Be Proud" that lets the listener know that it's okay to be who you are and be proud of it.

While I personally appreciate a band that wants to give its fans the most bang for their buck, it seems that most listeners nowadays have ever increasingly short attention spans and in that regard, Evolution might just be a tad too long at 14 songs but certainly something I'm not going to dock the band points for. What I will deduct for though is the sound mix. Unlike Alive..., whose mix was perfect, Evolution's sound suffers a bit from too much low end. When listening to the CD the first time I was a bit overwhelmed by it and had to kick the bass on my equalizer down a few notches. Thinking it might just be something that happened during the mass production of the disc I asked for the MP3 files and while markedly better in the mix it still was a little top heavy on the low end which really ended up being nothing more than a minor annoyance of having to adjust my perfectly set EQ.

Overall though, the band has delivered a very solid slab of auditory creations. With Evolution RED TIGER prove that lightning can indeed strike the same place twice, or at least within a few feet of it. Will it be enough to put the release into my Top Ten list for 2018? Stay tuned to find out...

4.5 Out Of 5.0


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