Review of Red Novella - “Failure by Design”
By: Melissa DeGott
These days, some bands try so hard to sound like other more popular bands that it is sickeningly obvious. I think to myself, “Why just not listen to the band that this band is trying to rip off?” The bands that are truly genius are the bands that form their own sound from the influences they draw from. Red Novella has managed to surpass my expectations in this respect. From the first couple minutes of listening to “Failure by Design,” it was very easy to identify the influences. However, they totally made the styles their own. It is easy to hear the heavier side of mainstream metal influence in the instrumentation. The aggressive drumming and chugging rhythmic riffs with laying underneath technical, crisp leads remind me of bands such as Killswitch Engage and Trivium. The factor that really impressed me the most was their ability to blend the vocals of a completely different style. The vocals are very power pop/punk, reminiscent of artists such as Thrice and A Day To Remember. The vocalist for Red Novella, Mike Perez, does an exceptional job of clean singing sprinkled with passionate screaming.
"Failure by Design" is one of the most sensible albums, cohesively speaking, that I have listened to in a long while. All the songs sound like they belong together on one album. As obvious of a statement as that is, it is surprising how many bands have a few tracks that stand out on an album that don’t belong on the same audio plane as the rest of the songs. Red Novella made the transition from track to track very listenable, yet different enough to hold my attention throughout multiple times of hearing the entire album.
Even though I loved every song on “Failure by Design” on an almost equal level, there were a couple that I had to go back and listen to a few more times than the rest. The second track on the album, “Pieces,” has a catchy intro riff that has been going through my head all day. This is also the song that also contains the title, “Failure by Design” in the first verse which made a lot more sense after listening to the lyrics in the rest of “Pieces.” “Broken Down” was another song that was a stand out in my opinion. With relatable lyrics and Mike’s best vocal performance on the album, it was an easy favorite.
Red Novella has accomplished quite a bit in their career thus far. Being featured on different radio stations and podcasts and playing some of Illinois’ most notorious stages such as House of Blues and Subterranean are just a few of their greatest accomplishments thus far…and they are also about to add another to their list. On May 10th, Red Novella will be opening for Powerman 5000 at Mojoe’s in Joliet. For information on tickets to this show, future shows, and the band, you can contact the band on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RedNovella. You can also visit them at https://www.reverbnation.com/rednovella.
To hear some of Red Novella’s "Failure by Design", just press play below!