Self-proclaimed "100 percent Texas-bred white trash," Red Reverse revives the cacophony of late '80s hardcore punk rock with youthful screams and contagious chanting, leaving behind a wake of fans dizzy from circling the mosh pit one too many songs. Five members, 20 limbs, 50 fingers, four instruments, and three microphones groove together to create one powerful sound that make a live Red Reverse show a frenzied flail of earnest fists and feet. Fans can leave with more than bruises and black eyes on Friday, July 26, when the band releases its self-produced sophomore album, Remorse and the Vicious Cycle.
Red Reverse delivers a solid show onstage, the air filled with raucous punk rock chords and crowd all at once, as fans feed off the energy of the music and respond with mesmerized movement. The band's confidence has grown with its crowd over the past four years, but has stayed rooted in an adolescent interest in music. The four original members — Dustin Butler, Jordan Williams, Scott Bump, and Daniel Proud — have known each other since elementary school. In middle school, they pursued a collective interest to create music. "I sold my Nintendo 64 to buy my first guitar," says Bump, who is now the lead guitarist of the group. "Everyone around me was learning how to play an instrument, and I just went with the groove." Likewise, the other three friends began to hone their respective talents; by the ages of 14 and 15, the boys were spending their time shuffling back and forth between different bands.
In 1998, the group came together as Red Reverse, with Williams on rhythm guitar, Bump on lead guitar, and Proud on drums, all fronted by Butler on bass. "We found a lineup that we wanted and that worked well together," recalls Williams. The setup was successful in sound but not appearance. Butler, who, according to bandmate Bump, "has that classic frontman image," was unable to fully express himself behind the bass guitar, leaving the band timid and cautious in its live shows. Then Butler met bassist Brandon Hicks, who immediately joined the band. "Our whole stage presence came into play, freeing up Dustin to run around and interact with the crowd," explains Williams. "And we all started to move around as well. Brandon and I both use wireless guitars, and we switch sides and run all over the place ... singing into different microphones, continuously working the crowd, backed by Dustin with a heavy does of A.D.D. `not diagnosed` and a WWF attitude."
With the addition of Hicks, the band transitioned into a more aggressive sound. "Our music is fast and upbeat, and I guess you could call it punk, but we don't strive to be a punk band," says Williams. "It's not like we sat down and said, 'We want to sound like this.' It really progressed over a long period of time. There's not one day that we can say we found our sound."
"Personally, this wasn't my favorite type of music," says Bump. "I listened to the Cars for a long time. I think the Who is probably my favorite group. When it comes to our music, I think it slips into the category of punk because it's different. I don't even know how the sound came about. There's not a direct source for it."
Although the group's hardcore music hardly defies definition, the group continues to create and expand its music, intermixing ingenuity with sound and stage show. Red Reverse is a family effort: Where one member is lacking, another compensates. "The `musical` talent comes from Scott; Daniel, Dustin, Brandon, and I just bring the stage presence, energy, and promotional know-how." Entirely self-funded and self-promoted, the band is not only a music-making machine, but a fully functioning promotional animal. Williams created, designed, and monitors the band's Web site (www.redreverse.com), and Hicks provides the majority of the person-to-person contact with fans, venues, and recording studios.
While the music evolves, Red Reverse relies less upon distortion and overwhelmingly noisy PA systems than upon talent and efficient execution of sound and style. Working diligently to write the music and lyrics for their upcoming release throughout the past year, the band perpetuates its own vicious cycle with little remorse, but one powerful punch of punk rock.
RED REVERSE CD RELEASE
With the Unloved, Losing Streak, Fuse, Defekt, and Cinderleaf
Friday, July 26
2410 North St. Mary's St.