Del McGeachy – vocals
Dan Gardner – guitar
Colbey Schnelle – bass
Marc Mercier - drums
December In Red achieve an elusive balance between heavy and hypnotic on their second full-length album, The Way Out (CaviGold Records).
Evocative of Deftones and A Perfect Circle, their delicate mixture of scorching rhythms, airtight riffs, and dynamic vocals instantly intrigues. Since the release of their self-titled debut, the Seattle band —Del McGeachy, Dan Gardner, Colbey Schnelle, and Marc Mercier— has toured with genre stalwarts including (hed)p.e., Project 86, and more, building a significant audience independently. However, The Way Out stands out as an equally chaotic and creative statement.
Dan describes it best. "Our style ranges from ambient to bludgeoning," he says. "There's a minimalist approach in that we don't try to overcomplicate things. At the same time, every song has its own vibe. There are no frills or gimmicks. We are who are."
"It can be heavier and energetic or lighter and more experimental," Del agrees. "There's a powerful backbone, but it's still melodic."
In 2014, the group sharpened that style while recording at the legendary Robert Lang Studios [Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Alice In Chains] in their native Seattle. Featuring production by the band themselves, engineering courtesy of Eric Janko, and mixing by Provo of Skinlab, December In Red instantly come to life on The Way Out.
Album opener "Hooks and Splatters" segues from a gnashing guitar into a haunting refrain, examining what Del refers to as "the negative side of the social media age." Meanwhile, "Corduroy" tells a space age love story over the course of seven minutes bolstered by airy and elegant instrumentation.
Leading the charge, the first single "Send Me a Postcard" delivers an unshakable refrain through a distorted siphon hinging on a potent groove. About the song, Del admits, "It basically illustrates the consequences of unsustainable situations. People go about their business without taking the lack of longevity they have due to carelessness into consideration. This could be applied to a personal situation or the earth itself. As a population, we're making this place more unmanageable. It includes the album title The Way Out, because we're looking for a way out of this path we're currently on."
Then, there's the propulsive and punchy "Hadouken", which features a sizzling cameo from (hed)p.e. frontman Jahred. "We grew up listening to (hed)p.e.," adds the singer. "It was a really memorable and amazing experience to not only tour with him, but do a song together."
In the end, December In Red bring heavy music a distinct and definitive balance that's as crushing as it is captivating. "This is all organic," Dan declares. "We want to do something that runs the gamut."
"We're very passionate about the music we make," Del says. "That passion translates into the songs. We want people to take that away. Maybe they can share that same energy, and this can be a catalyst or inspiration for them."