The Laramie-based heavy rock/punk band, Redbush, has left an impression.
Founded in 2001 by high school buddies J.D. Korpitz (guitar/vocals) and Evan Bruhnke (drums,) the origins of Redbush were laden with band moves, lineup changes, “DIY recordings, and alcoholism.” Like any young band, Redbush took some time to find an identity. Fast forward nine years to 2010, when bassist Ian McKillip joined the band; they were finally ready to lay down some roots. This was the beginning of three successful years, releasing two quality LPs, and pulling off seven U.S. tours. In 2013, Ian left and entered bassist Larson Lind to the Redbush lineup. This provided the band the opportunity to tour the U.S. another three times as well as add a new, creative edge to their sound for their third release.
That’s not to say anything was wrong with their previous work. Rocktober Productions summed up the LP Milk Maid (2013 Whoa! Boat Records, Seattle) perfectly. “Nasty melodic punk mixed with big heavy rock – the kind that seems to have gone out of vogue after ‘grunge’ became a punchline – makes this ginger-core band as pummeling and perfect as anything that’s ever come out of Wyoming…” Their first release, Wonder Nugget (2011, One Legged Pup Records, Laramie) was no slouch either; in fact, it was valiant for a first release.
Catch up to their latest album, though: Gaslight Lockdown (2016, DLF Records, Laramie.) This release has a wow factor that cannot be denied and translates into Redbush’s live show brilliantly. The title track, Gaslight Lockdown, has qualities of Queens of the Stone Age on acid, pure rock with edgy notes. No No No is weird, like a punk version of Jack White gone AWOL. Hey is unmistakably influenced by The Decendents and easily one of the best tracks on the LP with melodic moments and riffs that leave you reeling. It’s no surprise that Redbush was influenced by QOTSA and The Decendents, along with The Melvins, Oingo Boingo, and The Giraffes. Redbush says of Gaslight Lockdown: “This marks the most inspired and progressive effort by Redbush to date!”
“What makes this translate into their live show brilliantly,” you ask? Redbush is tight (pardon the cliché) and unabashed in their performance. Their songs demand all-out rock attitude and a punk vibe that cannot be feigned. In fact, they gave The Dwarves a run for their money at Surfside 7 in Fort Collins, although the humble J.D. would never say so. The cult following of The Dwarves stopped and took notice of Redbush and their undeniable uniqueness. Don’t let that description conjure a vision of all-out, in-your-face theatrics, though. What pulls the crowd in is musicianship and songwriting, something that trumps showiness any day.
Next for Redbush is “real life” and valuing the Northern Colorado and Wyoming as great regions to focus on. They can pack almost any room along the Front Range, which as a whole seems to be the most fun for the band. However, J.D. misses the road. “I still want to tour. I have fun playing to three people in Seattle.” Still, opening for big names like The Dwarves and Teenage Bottlerocket are undeniably some of their best shows.
Redbush plans on making a lot of music during their homestay. First up: they are working with the Albuquerque label, Orange Whip Records on releasing a split 7” vinyl record. There will be two new songs from Redbush on one side of the record, two new songs from the furious rock band Russian Girlfriends on one side, two new songs from Redbush on the other. From there, look forward to more regional shows and more new music. Redbush will keep putting out for us to take in.