Music News

Critic's Choice

The best mainstream acts can accomplish a couple of important tasks along the road to success: Their members become skilled enough to effectively emulate their heroes, after which they fuse their influences into a sound that's truly their own. Judging by Last of the Cellophane, a full-length whose arrival is being celebrated at a Friday, February 4, CD-release party at the Gothic Theatre, RedLine Defiance has reached the first of these goals. RedLiners Mike Kellogg, Brian Larue, Emerson Willis and Carlos Martin specialize in melodic, radio-friendly hard rock of the sort exemplified by the disc's title track, yet they're also capable of playing the sensitivity card, as they do on modern power ballads such as "Phelon." Unfortunately, describing the music in more detail without invoking names like Incubus is damn near impossible right now. But since the group, which shares the Gothic bill with Strange Condition, the Zen Barons and Step Down, is only a little more than two years old, there's plenty of potential for growth. Will RedLine Defiance get stuck at the talented-mimic stage, or will it blossom into a band with a singular style? The suspense is incredible.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts