RED KATE: Unamerican Activities: LP

The first thing that struck me about this release was Shaun Hamontree’s cover art depicting three children using a bomb as a piñata, an image which is immediately striking and thought provoking. That alone allowed me to enter the fray of Red Kate’s sophomore album with high hopes. The opener “You Don’t Speak for Me” didn’t disappoint, with plenty of vigor angrily highlighting the gap between those in power and the majority of the population. Although some songs lean towards a more rock’n’roll sound, there’s no lack of punch from start to finish either lyrically or musically. The final track is a really good version of “Heart of the City,” originally a Nick Lowe B side from the first record released on Stiff Records back in 1976. –Rich Cocksedge (Black Site, blacksiterecords@gmail.com, black-site.org)