Red Super Giant–explosive light sounds

Red Super Giant–explosive light sounds

By By Molly Fleming

By Molly Fleming

Staff Writer

“In a work of art, it is the accident which charms, not the intention.”

—Thomas Hardy.

Mike Schirger of Red Super Giant cited this quotation when describing the band’s unique way of making music. If you haven’t seen them yet, you should as quickly as possible. Hardy’s profound words are put into example through rock n’ roll, as Red Super Giant explodes onto the stage in stellar ignition.

Besides being four exceptionally “charming” fellows with a deep dynamic among them, Red Super Giant has a sound like nothing previously out of the Rockford area. The music they’ve created is comprised of specific elements and qualities drawn from rock, blues, jazz, folk, country, acid surf, and others, that make the end result take on a form of its own. Although their album 5 Songs is purely rock ‘n’ roll for the hard-bitten, on stage they put on a performance of musical creativity that verges on hysteria at points.

What they resemble: Essentially, Red Super Giant IS rock ‘n’ roll. But if you could pour them out of a blender, the components might be Medeski, Martin & Wood, Tortoise, a dash of electric Bela Flek, and an ounce or so of the Velvet Underground.

The line-up: Mike Schirger, guitar and vocals, sings lyrics the way they’re meant to be sung, and refrains from the soppy pretensions that seem to pervade most bands of the popular rock genre. His words are universally relative, without being overly sentimental. Andy Scarpaci throws in walking bass lines that tune into Charles “Chuck” Stein’s rhythms, and it becomes quite clear how deep their relationship is. Josh Karlzon, lead guitar, takes solos reaching climax points of zero db, before falling into resolves that soothe your near-heart attack.

The down low: The best way to describe Red Super Giant is to paraphrase the creative minds behind it. Schirger likens the music to painting a picture to which each member adds a different landscape, color, texture and shade. Sitting at Big Cities on Saturday night, the painting took form in the first set. Right away, the boys jumped into a tune that swung the listener into a deep, distorted world, yet was positively fueled so it didn’t make you feel like you’re in an opium salon, but abstract enough to put the listener in a zone unique to Red Super Giant world. Karlzon’s and Schirger’s guitars call and answer each other, and finally end up singing together in strange and eerie harmonies.

Where they’re been: Red Super Giant has a following as diverse as people at a bus station. They’ve played with the likes of Doveload, The 420 Band, Harmony Riley, and the Heavils, to give you an idea of the diversity. They owe a lot of their growing popularity to these bands, and the local bar/restaurant owners that have given them their opening to explore on stage.

They are rising stars at this point (forgive the pun) and are taking Rockford by storm. They were nominated for the 2002 RAMI Awards, but lost to Doveload (which is fine by them, Karlzon notes. “They’re all great guys, and a good band”). Their first album 5 Songs was recorded by nationally known producer Brent Sigmeth, at Pachyderm Studios. You can get a sample of this CD at the band’s website, or write to: Red Super Giant at P.O. Box 365, Winnebago, Ill. 61088.

It’s a great album for those who enjoy rock ‘n’ roll, but don’t mind taking it a couple steps farther. But the best way to experience Red Super Giant, before they hit up Chicago, or go on tour, is to go experience them at Big Cities or Kryptonite, where they’re usually playing.

Go see the boys at Kryptonite on Sunday, May 26th, when they will be playing with the Heavils, at 6 p.m. Cover is only $5.

Raw, free, melodic, and hard describes Red Super Giant on stage, and off stage you can catch the boys as charming story tellers who haven’t adopted the Rock Star Syndrome (RSS) quite yet. Any bookings can be directed to their lovely friend and business executor, Lisa Brockaway, at 815-239-9280, or fax 239-1969.

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