Bands are back on the radar once again, people!!! The DJ is still hanging around, but thanks to a variety of successful acts, there has been a glorified resurgence. With that, we give you RDGLDGRN, a three-piece band from Virginia that has worked with iconic names in the industry, which include Dave Grohl and Pharrell Williams. They are a conglomerate of several musical backgrounds, including pop and hip-hop, covered under that Indie umbrella. Their self-titled debut EP is out now and 2013 is the year in which we’ll see if RDGLDGRN has the makings of a group that can reach a massive audience. Read on to see their true colors show in this highly anticipated debut.
The first track off of RDGLDGRN’s self-titled EP, “I Love Lamp,” is a great choice in showcasing this group’s hybridized sound. Starting with an up-tempo electric guitar chord progression, anticipation builds as the doors of musical bliss open up, the drums kick in, and a guitar riff that emulates the same tones of Coldplay’s “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall” blasts us in the face. Trying to classify this is more of a juxtaposition than anything else. It’s Indie with a bigger sound. The vocals hint at a lo-fi sound while the production has such a pop-rock infused styling that it comes together in the strangest of ways. It’s like the accidental combined forces Peanut Butter and chocolate coming together, where we don’t know why it works, but we sure are glad as hell it does.
Further evoking an indie sentimentality is the record’s name itself: “I Love Lamp.” Anyone who is a true fan of Ron Burgundy and the Channel 4 Evening News Team would automatically spot this reference, but to the common man, not so much. Interestingly enough, nowhere in the song is this phrase iterated, making it a red herring of sorts, further adding that Indie sentimentality.
To put it in a nutshell, it’s a happy sounding song that coats over sad, morose thoughts/phrasings. This is especially evident in the second verse:
“I got a new guy, that's what she said
I never knew I'd feel like I'm dead
Cause I lost my bottom lady for a one-night stand
She said I thought that you should know that I don't wanna be friends.”
Lyrically speaking, there is a lot going on here. In this stanza, the victim seems to be the male in this scenario, but then it shifts to the woman’s side. This coining of the term “bottom lady” refers to someone’s number one girl; the one whom he just lost because of a night of infidelity. The real question at hand then is, does he only feel this way because he got caught?
Like any great song, however, the melody is what has to be there. “I Love Lamp” definitely delivers on this end, intermixing indie rocker and hip-hop verses with an earworm of a hook that shies away from being overtly pop. But is this song an anomaly in comparison to the rest of their self-titled EP? Well, telling you now would be no fun so read on, people!!!
Check out their video here: "I Love Lamp"
The next track, “Doing The Most,” goes off on a different tangent than that of “I Love Lamp.” Here, the pop element fades into the background and is replaced by what could be best described as a party rock anthem of sorts. It’s very much got an inkling of a Neptunes feel, which makes sense because Pharrell has penned his name on this record. The incorporation of a blasting trumpet section and multilayered background vocals are synonymous with that slightly non-mainstream sound that Pharrell is known for a la Timberlake’s “Senorita.“ These variants in production serve as the guiding force throughout the song; further implementing that different is not a bad thing (insert Macklemore & Ryan Lewis “Thrift Shop” reference here).
Lyrically, this is a song that isn’t meant to blow you out of the water with metaphors and figurative language aplenty a la Springsteen. It’s more about the feeling and “Doing The Most” captures this essence. The chorus is simple and makes it easy for anyone to holler at the top of their lungs before slugging one back. There it is. The cat’s out of the bag. This is a great song to bop up and down like a Frat boy and drink to. If you can’t remember these simple lyrics (below) you probably didn’t do too well in school, but we’re not here to judge.
“You should do less
Cuz you’re doing the most
You should do less now
Cuz you’re doing the most”
Reading these lyrics, it’s hard to tell what exactly RDGLDGRN is hinting at here. Is there a sexual innuendo here that we need to extract and make up our own theory about? Or is this about that stage 5 clinger who just won’t leave you the hell alone? With that, we have to look at the verses, which state the following: “Is there something wrong with saying hi…catch me if you can, I’m messaging a friend.” Frankly, it’s apparent that it’s about some crazy ass significant other that should probably pop a Prozac or something to settle those nerves. Abort mission! Abort mission!
Shifting gears, “Million Fans” is the most hip-hop centered track of the EP. It’s got a very Jurassic 5 feel about, which is great when you love Chali 2na as much as we do here at Musical Druggernauts. This is the song meant to bring the house down. Follow these steps accordingly: 1) Turn off the radio that is playing the same song you heard thirty-seven minutes ago 2) Fill up your beverage of choice 3) Walk over to whatever music is being played out of 4) Put this song on 5) Crank that shit up to the “ears will ring tomorrow” setting 6) Prepare to get in a scuffle with that bro who is going to come at you for turning down his “jam.”
Overall, RDGLDGRN’s EP is a complete and utter tease, topping out at only 4 songs. In this span of less than 15 minutes, however, it is evident that this is a group that has something special going on. It’s hard to dictate how their sound will evolve on their full album, but “I Love Lamp” is a smash that is already garnering airplay on alt radio stations. That said, turn that shit up! Until then, Druggernauts!