Bob Minter – Program Director/Producer/DJ
Code Zero Radio
“Trying not to gush all over this release by RedBelt is almost humanly impossible. Remaining objective gets buried by the simple fact that this is one of the strongest albums I have heard in a very long time. And the textures available on Beautiful Surround are so rich, picking a favorite song will change with each listen. I guess my favorite thing about this album is the honest, sincere rock presented to the listener. The recording is fat with tone without over the top production that dooms a lot of recording projects. 13 tracks of pure awesome rock you need to have in your collection.
Beautiful Surround almost didn’t happen. After the initial tracks were laid down, the band went on a self imposed hiatus with no plans for the future. Fate intervened however and the project was resurrected with the understanding that guitar player Mike Mann (who also owns MusicMann Studios in Milwaukee), would take the time to re-record and produce the album. It was about a five year process but good things come to those who wait.
When presented with some tracks for airplay I was stunned, and I’m not exaggerating. Taken by complete surprise by ‘Crossed Wires’, this song opens the album with a full blown guitar attack and a hard driving rhythm that is fully capable of melting some serious face. Followed by the incredibly melodic ‘American Mercy’ the listener now knows they are in for a treat, everything is where it should be and the planets have lined up for a stellar listening experience. My personal pick for major airplay is ’30 Seconds’ an uber hook driven tune with razor sharp guitar work and a snare snap that will produce a sore neck if you aren’t careful. The vocals are tight and the bass drives it all home. I’m not going reveal any more tracks because I hope I have enticed you enough to purchase Beautiful Surround. This is the real deal, a masterwork of American Rock.”
John Jordan – Producer /105.7 WAPL Home Brewed
“I’m not sure why the thought of ‘beer’ hit me (slave to habit, I suppose) when listening to RedBelt’s Beautiful Surround release but I know I want to keep drinking it in… over and over again. The influences and echo of the genres of rock that came before are evident to even the most subjective pallet. Each entry on the album is like another finely-crafted beer, with subtle notes and bold flavors permeating every song. Stout rockers like ‘American Mercy’ and ‘Throw Away’ mix effortlessly with easy-flowing tracks like ‘Beautiful Surround’ and Golden Sidewalks’. Using the crafting criteria of Vessel, Vintage and Volume, RedBelt’s Beautiful Surround is a ‘brewer’s dozen’ of impeccably-sessioned Midwest rock that goes to 11 on any scale. And, when consumed properly (see loudly), the result is quite intoxicating. Beautiful Surround is one of my absolute favorite album releases of the last year – plus. Please listen to it responsibly and let the smooth taste wash over you.”
“For those seeking good ol’ rock music in a time barren of options, RedBelt is your band.”
Piet Levy – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel & TapMilwaukee.com
“Right out of the gate with its first album, RedBelt masters meat-and-potatoes power pop, and then at the end, hints at what could come with the ambitious, surging jangle rock on album closer ‘Hard Light.'”