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Red Soda

Underneath the Moon and... Eyelashes

Crisper Cat

I've always felt that Red Soda was the most New York of all the Florida bands I've heard, so it was no big surprise when I found out that they were relocating to Brooklyn. They've put together a new lineup with a sound very different from that of any of the group's previous incarnations. After years of releasing underground tapes, Red Soda has finally made its CD debut with the release of this 5-song EP. On this venture, the group has had the good fortune of being co-produced by Jerry Teel, who has been an important figure in New York's underground music scene for many years.

   The CD starts off with "Drivin'," a song that captures the mood of driving down a desolate country highway at night without the car lights on, with only the light of the full moon as a guide. It features light and twangy, VU-ish guitar and expert use of dynamics that help relate the disturbed mini-drama that unfolds inside the driver's mind. The blending of guitarist Adriaan Mol's expressive baritone and bassist Tasha Drazich's clear-as-a-bell alto produces some interesting harmonies. "Beneath," the instrumental that follows, sounds like the Church gone haywire. Its mystical mood and unusual guitar overdubs and effects make it sound like a warped, noisy outtake from Gold Afternoon Fix . "When Judy Goes to Hell" starts out with another taste of weird, effects-drenched guitar that grabs your attention like an eerie, desolate wind. The guitar creates a mood similar to that produced by Allen Ravenstine's EML synthesizer on old Pere Ubu albums. As the music builds around the despairing drama of the lyrics, Mol's voice conveys a Frank Black-like hysteria, and his guitar erupts like a sandstorm on Jupiter. Red Soda, like most restlessly creative groups, are constantly evolving. While this EP gives a pretty good taste of what Red Soda are about today, it provides only a hint of even better things to come.

Crisper Cat Records, 720 Lorimer Street #1R, Brooklyn, NY 11211; crispercat@aol.com

--Marcus Leith