CD Review: Razorhouse “Codex Du”

Mark Panick is a mainstay in the Chicago music scene. For years, Panick has been running around with several bands that made an impact on that musical scene. Not that long ago, he reassembled one of his bands called Razorhouse. With that reassembled band, he released the 2013 release called Codex Jun. With the success of that release, the band kept the momentum going and then released the band’s newest EP, 2015’s Codex Du.

Codex Du from Razorhouse begins with the track “Distance Wheel”. The track’s guitar-based rock music combines elements from bands like Love and Rockets and T-Rex with a little David Bowie thrown in for good measure. The track takes influences from Glam Rock, New Wave and Alternative Rock and throws them all together. This creates a track that could have existed anywhere from the late 60s, early 70s even mid-to-late 90s. With all of the various sounds flowing through the track’s nearly four-minutes of playing time, “Distance Wheel” is one of the most accessible Rock and Roll tracks to be produced by anyone in the years following the cross into the New Millenium.

The new release from Razorhouse continues with the track “Neu Sensation”. Just like the previous track, this song also feels very timeless. However, this song is much more grounded in a straightforward Rock style. “Neu Sensation” contains a generous amount of Alternative Rock feel. Because of that, the song would easily fit within the late eighties, early nineties. The track contains a strong electric guitar approach but also allows the acoustic guitar to shine through. While “Neu Sensation” is slightly less energetic than “Distance Wheel,” the track is still strong and would make any lover of Alternative Rock happy.

Mark Panick and the rest of the band change things up with the track “Girl Like a Hand Grenade”. The track begins with a slightly jazz-like approach to the Rock and Roll music. That musical approach goes well with the spoken word free verse from Panick. The result is a Beat Poet-like track. Soon, however, the band changes things and the song takes on a musical approach that once again, feels like something from the band T-Rex. In fact, Panick’s vocal quality is very reminiscent of Marc Bolan from T-Rex. The alternating between the two styles makes for an interesting track.

The pace of the music slows way down for the track “Regan’s Song”. The slow, steady pace to the gentle music is much different from the tracks that came before. In fact, the slower song takes on a style that is very reminiscent of a song like “Wicked Game” from Chris Isaak. This song continues the lyrical style set by the previous track of “Girl Like a Hand Grenade”. The lyrics of “Regan’s Song” seem to tell a story of a girl that only comes around once a year. The slower, gentler track adds a nice balance to the harder tracks of the Codex Du EP from Razorhouse.

Razorhouse picks the pace of the music back up on the song “If You find Heaven”. With this track, the band creates a very solid Rock and Roll feel that would probably fit best into the decade of the seventies. The song features a strong acoustic guitar part that makes up the majority of the track. The electric guitars that also appear do a lot to add a lot of energy to the track. The music is a nice balance between the electric and acoustic energies. The electric/acoustic approach of the song may fit well with songs written by David Bowie.

Codex Du from the band Razorhouse comes to a close with the track “St. Teresa”. After five tracks of hard-hitting Rock and Roll, the band brings their new album to a close on a gentle note. The song brings to mind the gentle feel of a song like “Teardrop Collector” from Love and Rockets. The easy feel of the song makes for a great way to bring the new release of Codex Du from Razorhouse to a close.

Razorhouse makes use of many different influences and musical elements to create an EP of music that will make fans of Rock and Roll very happy. The band’s newest release of Codex Du blends several decades’ worth of musical influences to create a timeless sound. Put the Codex Du EP from Razorhouse on and just indulge in the music.

To hear the music of Razorhouse, check out the song “Girl Like a Hand Grenade“.

For more information, check out the band’s PR firm, NOVO Management and Publicity.

Click on the album cover below to purchase the release.

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