(Red Pens - Photo by Stephanie Colgan)
Band Members: Howard W. Hamilton III (guitars, effects) Laura F. Bennett (drums)
Guitarist and drummer two-piece rock bands have appeared on the local and national scene in the past whom I have wished would get a bass player. Red Pens is not one of those bands. The duo of Howard W. Hamilton III and Laura F. Bennett have no trouble filling rooms (even First Avenue’s main room, where they played the most recent “Best New Bands” showcase) with their powerful, feedback and emotionally-drenched dissonant sound. The band holds the stage with the energetic presence often reserved for three and four-piece ensembles.
Bennett (drums) and Hamilton (guitars, effects) are both veterans of the Twin Cities music scene, Hamilton most recently a member of The Busy Signals, and Bennett the former drummer for the Mood Swings. Red Pens won the coveted “Picked to Click” designation from the City Pages in 2009 even before their debut album, Reasons hit the streets. Reasons was released in February on the Grain Belt Records label, and vinyl aficionados will delight the album was also released in limited edition 12-inch format with a record release party a couple weekends ago at the Hexagon.
Red Pens’ moody, sonic attack is best experienced live; though Reasons does a terrific job of representing the range of sound the band is capable of. The band toured earlier this spring, playing venues from Chicago to New York City. Both Hamilton and Bennett give it their all when they perform live, Bennett often smiling from behind the drums balancing Hamilton’s stern visage. It’s the perfect balance of yin and yang.
If you like Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine or the Velvet Underground, you’ll likely find much to love about Red Pens, who will bring fuzzy, art-rock intensity to Voltage 2010.
For Voltage, Red Pens will be outfitted by Red Shoe Clothing Company, a design group founded by Kerry Riley in 2002.
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Posted by David at 4/07/2010 02:26:00 PM