CD Review: Red Heart Alarm’s Hammer Anvil Stirrup

Red Heart AlarmThis is the second album from the Seattle based group Red Heart Alarm, and it features an array of different genres, including, but not limited to Rock, Country and Blues.

This is a very relaxing and peaceful album with a lot of harmonies from dual front men, Corey Allred and Jared Monschein. I love harmonies! It’s the part I always sing.

The first song on ‘Hammer Anvil Stirrup’ , recently released on Pour Louder Records and produced by Jack Endino at Soundhouse Studio is “Greendust”. It’s a soft rock/blues tune with great sounding guitar but it’s the bass that is the most crucial on this one. You can’t play this song without Scotty Summers.
“It doesn’t matter where you roam, every road is home”

“Happy Funeral” sounds predominately country, in part because both Allred and Monschein sing with country vocal styles. I really love the rockin’ guitar solos. Listening to it gave me the urge to ‘air guitar’. Summers’ bass is playing a blues accompaniment, adding to the vast range of genres in this song. Is it just me or does it sound like Elvis is singing?
“She was a one hit wonder woman from a traveling freak show”

“Looking For Trouble” seems very personal, as if the words are more like thoughts to oneself. It has a little bit of lyrical strength to it. I think most of us look for trouble without even realizing it.
“I might seem so humble. I’m not the kind of man to shoot his mouth off.”

Country tune “Shut Down” sounds heartbreaking and works best with both guys, harmony wise. This song wouldn’t sound as good without the intimacy.
“I’ve been blinded by lights through the fog”

“Winter” has a simple beat along with the heart felt flow of the vocals. Impressive guitar solos and a good workout for guest Matt Anglin on keys.
“Put the feathers in the box again. You know you’ve got to give to get my friend”

Another rocker on the album is “Receipt” a fast, country rock song with some very active guitar action.  The story is a fun one and I like to sing along with it. Now I can’t stop singing this one to myself (and to those around me)’
“I’ll dream a sleepless dream and I’ll wake up with my head poundin’ like you’re knocking on my door.”

“Puddles” is a sad love song and again, without the solidarity of both singers, it wouldn’t be complete.
“It’s hard, so hard when you get to feeling down wish your troubles would go away. They’re like puddles in the rain”

I think my favorite song on this album is “Soaked Through Matches”. This number finds Monschein and Allred teaming up with the talented Julia Massey and her piano for an extraordinary vocal production.
“When I hear your voice, it cuts through the silence”

“The Prize” is generally a blues/ lite rock song with the heart of regret. Spending it’s last 30 sec. on an exciting drum/guitar creation from Pfeifer and Allred.
“I guess when teeth dig in, they never lose their grip”

You got yourself a country/blues, love song right here with “Autumn” The twang of the guitars, the keys and the southern sound in their voices. Starts out with a quick hillbilly production and then the keys and bass lull you down to a profound conclusion.
“Now I’ve become, someone I’ve never been”

Each song has it’s own sound. Seemingly covering so many genres, none of the songs fit into one category. Corey Allred plays his guitar wonderfully, no matter what genre he’s playing. It’s very entertaining, fairly calm but ultimately happy album and I think this band will be even more fun live.

Song List
1. Greendust
2. Happy Funeral*
3. Looking For Trouble
4. Shut Down
5. Winter
6. Receipt
7. Puddles
8. Soaked Through Matches**
9. The Prize
10. Autumn
All songs are written by the band except
*Written by: John Townsend
**Written by: Julia Massey

Jared Monschein – Guitar and Vocals
Corey Allred – Guitar and Vocals
Scotty Summers – Bass
Donovan Pfeifer – Drums

Band Site www.redheartalarm.com


Tracy Salsbery

Tracy's love of music began as a child growing up in California’s Bay Area. The 1970s was an explosion of different music styles with everything from Led Zeppelin to Joni Mitchell to Al Green and her parents listened to all of it, leaving her with an eclectic taste in music. Her passion for great music comes from the happiness that it brings to people who listen and the talented musicians that play it. You can find her on LinkedIn here: www.linkedin.com/pub/tracy-salsbery/11/663/101

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