RED DONS: The Dead Hand of Tradition: LP

Red Dons are one of those exasperatingly good bands who continue to dole out one amazing much-harder-than-it-looks release after another, leaving the rest of us mere band-mortals scratching our heads in flummoxed resignation at the sheer consistency of quality they exude. The work here easily falls in with the driving, dark punk that hints at early West Coast influences but also transcends influences with a few more choice ingredients added to the pie. Theirs is a sound that would handily fit on most bills—poppy enough for the kid-boppers, driving enough for the Dirtnap/Hostage/Modern Action crowd, dark and tense enough for the average hardcore show, and so on—but deeper analysis shows them piling on multiple harmonies, noodly bits, and some nice churn to give the rhythms added color. This latest is in keeping within their traditional sound yet adding a bit more maturation to the lyrical content. Aces this is, which will be to the surprise of no one, I’ll warrant. –Jimmy Alvarado (Deranged)