It takes a lot of chutzpah for a band like the Redwalls to write a tune whose chorus is built around the line "they say its all been done before," since even the group's most loyal adherents will acknowledge they don't have an original bone in their collective body, having lifted their sound and style from several dozen cherished bands of the '60s and '70s. On The Redwalls, the opener "Hangman" could pass for the Faces in dim light, "Put Us Down" is pure British Invasion-era pop, "Game of Love" recalls the grand scale angst of the Walker Brothers, the slightly woozy psychedelic accents of "Into the Maelstrom" owe more than a bit to the Creation, and "Little Sister" recalls Buffalo Springfield's more navel-gazing moments. But as someone once said, "mediocre artists borrow, great artists steal," and while calling the Redwalls' self-titled third album "great" is going a bit far, the Chicago-based quartet certainly know how to build a catchy and solidly rocking disc out of the bits and pieces they've gleaned from their favorite bands. Bounced from a brief association with a major label, the Redwalls recorded album number three in Sweden with producer Tore Johansson (who previously worked with the Cardigans, OK Go, and Franz Ferdinand), and the results put a slightly more contemporary sheen on this band's retro style, at least moving them into the '90s with some Brit-pop accents on songs like " "Modern Diet" and "Summer Romance" (then again, they have also come from touring with Oasis in 2005). Listening to The Redwalls, you might get the feeling you've heard some of this stuff before, but that doesn't mean you won't enjoy its swagger and spirit. -AMG
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