Since 2017, RedHook has been asserting itself as one of Australia’s most intriguing, compelling, and unique acts- their image culminating to one of a diverse sound and irresistibly refreshing style. Their heavily-anticipated debut EP, ‘Bad Decisions’ not only emphasizes this position, but shows RedHook in a whole new light. The EP witnesses the band delving into passionate lyricism and an alluring sound, with each track shining with a sense of individuality- although connected through the themes and experiences of the body of work. ‘Bad Decisions’ marks a momentous occasion for the band, and in turn, marks quite an occasion for our Aussie music calendars!
The EP opens with ‘Don’t Keep Up’! With flair and style, RedHook pounces into our ears with an intrusive and rambunctious beat that could capture even the most distant of listeners. Commanding our attention, it is evident from the beginning that RedHook is not here to mess around, but is instead here to utilise every second of their first EP, intertwining the audience into their narrative and their world. Expanding on their unique blend of alternative rock, ‘Don’t Keep Up’ introduces elements we are sure to see in the later tracks- technologically infused beats, catchy choruses, and explosive genre-bending feats to keep us on our toes. This high-energy track masterfully inserts us into the ‘Bad Decisions’ EP through its unique delivery- it is impossible not to be hungry for more. More importantly, the track introduces the EP’s themes with poise- articulating the band’s wish to communicate important messages around mental health and real-life experiences, all through the lens of relatable music and breathtaking songs.
Track two is met with fan favourite and key single, ‘Cure 4 Psycho’. With a grimy and darker approach, this song delves into the deepest depths of RedHook’s lyricism, creating an at times brutally honest and straightforward examination of the world, and people, around us. For me, ‘Cure 4 Psycho’ is one of those songs that never gets old, and continues to foster the same feelings it did on your first listen, even within your 87th listen. A large part of this alluring nature comes from the unexpected, but equally incredible breakdown that is driven by both heavy instrumentals and technological manipulation. Creating a juxtaposition to the intro of the song, ‘Cure 4 Psycho’ throws you into a vortex of sounds- a journey that is unreal, unexpected, but skillfully shows off the band’s ability to adapt and intertwine sounds and styles to create their own unique sound.
The title track ‘Bad Decisions’ marks the EP’s critical halfway mark. With no signs of slowing down just yet, RedHook explodes into an anthemic tune, defined by Emmy herself as “a self-loathing anthem”, filled with immense passion and power. In this twisted dose of self-realisation, the band delivers a punchy hit towards themselves and the audience. The fierce instrumentals also speak their own mind, guiding the track down a fiery path- perhaps the result of this band’s initial self-evaluation. Such a universally relatable tune is sure to work its way into your heart… and it's already worked its way into the pinnacle live show spot. During their set opening for Short Stack’s single launch, ‘Bad Decisions’ saw the crowd admit their truths along with the band, screaming along with the inescapable chorus chant. With the EP tour lingering, I cannot wait to see this same energy reciprocated within a larger audience of RedHook fans. Heightening their connection with the audience one realisation at a time, ‘Bad Decisions’ is not only a perfect title track, but is a track that is sure to remain a crowd favourite for quite some time.
Track four, ‘Kamikaze’ is the latest single from the EP, and also contains something we have not seen yet; a guest feature! RedHook partnered with Windwaker’s Will King to create arguably the heaviest, most intense, and irresistibly chaotic track on the EP. With verses that don't quite reach us, separated by an allusive, masked vocal performance, the track peaks by intruding into our very souls with the unexpectedly complimentary screams of our two vocalists. Both Mack and King show off their skill and ability to shift to the role at hand, forging an iconic partnership in the form of this incredible breakdown. Seeing the duality of Emmy’s vocals in previous tracks, and the rest of the band’s duality in terms of their instrumental infusion, we all know they could have pulled off such a massive track on their own accord. However, the utilisation of Will’s unmistakable vocals creates a dynamic track with depth and layers- and one that also shows off two of Australia’s finest, young talents. ‘Kamikaze’ is a sure standout, with a presence that remains for quite some time.
Shifting the pace entirely, ‘Alien’ puts forward an unforeseen sense of rawness and vulnerability from the band. Mack’s ethereal vocals dominate this track, and for quite some time, left me at a loss for words. Her ability to transform from a raging vocalist filled with passion and angst, to then morph into a delicate and soft vocal feature is truly mesmerizing, and her incredible duality should not remain unnoticed. So too, the band shows their solemn side, approaching the track in a way that finds all instrumentals complementing one another. Submerged in emotion and sincerity, ‘Alien’ shows that even at their most vulnerable, Rehook continues to tell their story for all to hear.
Closing the EP is ‘Your Heroes Are Bullshit’- a colossal track that leads the listener toward the end of the ‘Bad Decisions' journey. Much like the title track, ‘Your Heroes Are Bullshit’ navigates past the walls of music in order to connect with their audience through a universal struggle; the feelings of existential defeat heightened by our dreary reality. Balancing between melodic choruses and anthemic chants, the track is a proper dose of all of the best elements of the band. Layered and prominent, the track exudes confidence in both itself, and the work that came before it, closing the EP off strongly, and with a sense of belief in itself. It is this type of self-assurance shown by RedHook that left me feeling not only incredibly satisfied, but incredibly proud of ‘Bad Decisions’.
Within their stellar six-track EP, RedHook has made all the right moves and has exceeded many of the expectations placed upon them. Soaring to new heights, ‘Bad Decisions’ sees the band not only solidify the unique sound they are so widely recognised for, but delve into new possibilities for the band- both in an individual sense and through an intense guest feature. The EP flawlessly travels through a world of kooky and dynamic tracks that are irresistibly chaotic and truly masterful in their creation. Ultimately, RedHook’s truest form of expression is the defiance from any set form of expression at all. I am truly excited to see these tracks live, and even more elated to see the reception to this EP!