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American punk rock band Red Kate release new album "Exit Strategy"

With their third LP, Exit Strategy, Kansas City's no-bullshit, class-conscious punk rock and rollers, Red Kate, fire an unapologetic sonic blast of musical truth into the disinformation-soaked wall of incessant noise that deafens and numbs us daily. While it's natural to wonder how we got to this sorrowful state, Exit Strategy asks the more relevant question, ';How do we get out'.

Addressing issues as varied as standing up in solidarity for your rights (“Shut It Down”), American exceptionalism (“Home of the Slave”), anti-intellectualism (“Don’t Think Too Much”), provincial conservatism (“Escape Room”), and technological dehumanization (“Lost Connection”), Exit Strategy holds a mirror up to our self-absorbed, narcissistic society, a society so easily manipulated and exploited through tribalism and fear that it makes one doubt that progress is actually possible (“No Solution”). Even the album’s seeming power pop love song, “She’s in Love”, proves instead to be a warning about an intractable relationship. When slowly degrading gridlock is all the future has in store, is embracing the madness the only way to maintain sanity (“Mind Control”)?

Complementing the theme of the record is Shaun Hamontree’s dramatic album art, an adaptation of a Vietnam-era photograph of a soldier being lifted into (or falling from?) a helicopter – a grim silhouette that aptly captures the uncertainty and anxiety of our postmodern condition. Pressed on translucent smoke gray vinyl, Exit Strategy is an exemplary work of art for the coming end times.

While the album takes musical departures into post-punk and proto-industrial territories only hinted at in previous albums, it does so without sacrificing the band's well-established Cleveland-via-Sydney style of Midwestern punk rock and roll. Bassist/lead vocalist L. Ron Drunkard, drummer Andrew Whelan, rhythm guitarist Shaun Hamontree and newest member, lead guitarist Mike Campbell, maintain that fierce, classic tube-driven intensity that is the band’s hallmark.

Exit Strategy contains nine tracks of unreleased material written and recorded over several years, plus three tracks previously available only on 7” vinyl. Creating a single cohesive album from twelve songs recorded over multiple sessions at two different studio locations with four different guitarists required the masterful skills of the band’s mainstay engineer, Duane Trower, and his Weights and Measures Soundlab. Making this album wasn’t easy and it sure wasn’t quick, but rarely is anything of quality. Exit Strategy is most certainly the best sounding, best collection of songs the band has ever released.


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