Seeing the Minneapolis duo, Red Pens, is like witnessing a demonstration, a demonstration in raw sonic bliss. Howard Hamilton III is a string-bending master who knows how to make feedback work to his advantage. His confident vocal stylings, coupled with drummer Laura Bennett's all or nothing kit pounding, are about as uniquely refreshing as it gets these days. The stage is littered with junk shop amps and guitars Hamilton seems to almost get tangled up in while he and Bennett exchange doses of laser beam eye contact revealing a seemingly deeper connection between the two of them than your average indie rock outfit.
Hamilton and Bennett met in the arena of visual arts and started Red Pens as a way to express their deep love for rock and roll. Howard's old project, The Busy Signals, toured with The Shins and its beat and loop based jams proved to be an underdog favorite in the early 2000's. Laura is well known as a painter, but is best known for her painting on guitar effects boxes. She even has her own signature fuzz pedal, not bad for a drummer.
Their debut album Reasons on Grain Belt Records is a mid-fi bonanza of fuzzy reverb drenched art rock. The wiggly winding guitars, slap back vocals and killer backbeats are sure to give you that silly grin you've been starving for.