Originally written by Chris Redar
Crimson Renegade is:
1. An album entirely about cowboys, cowboy lore, and cowboy stuff.
2. Recorded by Redwest, who hail from the land of cowboys, Italy.
3. Vocally and lyrically performed in some of the strangest broken English/thickest accents this side of a Dragonball Z dub.
4. Power metal.
Crimson Renegade is also a disgusting pile of steaming sucky-ass shit, but not for any of the reasons listed above. There’s a ton of potential for a fun (even memorable) album put together with the larger-than life myths of the old frontier, what with your Jesse Jameses and your Wyatt Earps and your tumbleweeds and your shootouts at old saloons and such. What makes this one stand out like an unlistenable sore thumb is how competently boring it manages to be at every horsepole. (This will not be even close to the last awful wild west-themed joke, so strap in.)
The title track kicks in inconspicuously enough, and then everything else follows suit. That seems to be the theme of this album, maybe even moreso than six shooters and sheriff-wife-sexing: being so musically uninteresting that a great deal of this could double as a lullaby. Theres a pretty bitchin’ solo on “Fire,” but beyond that, it’s like a contest between the guitarists and vocalists to see who can bore who more before these fourty-four minutes are up.
Most of these songs contain a pretty heavy theme of some sort (murder, robbery, adultery, I assume train robbing, bandanna wearing), and then the final track is about a poker game. That’s just a thing that people liked to do sometimes back then. There are only two ways to close a theme/concept album: with a banger, or with a long slow-burner. “Poker” (it’s called “Poker”: a song about playing poker called “Poker.” Please let that soak in before you draw — heh — your conclusions as to its meaning) does neither, instead choosing to use generic prarie-time bluegrass-lite to describe — wait for it — a wild west poker game. That’s like if you wrote a theme album about Independence Day, and the last track was called “Cigars,” and it was about how sometimes Will Smith liked to smoke a cigar every now and again.
I don’t want to shit on anyone in this band personally, because they’re people and they might have kids who look up to them, but Redwest would do well to develop a much more defined personality on their next outing. Using an era that was defined by larger-than-life figures as an inspiration should have yielded a much more bombastic result than Crimson Renegade. This is (and I’m not kidding even a little bit) the kind of band that should have two keyboard players and a guy specifically on stage at their concerts to boot-scoot — a minimum of seven members, including two singers that just sing and a full-time harmonica player, even if there’s only harmonica on three songs. But right now what this band doesn’t have is a reason to listen to this again.