No Chicago band has enjoyed more immediate success than The Redwalls, a group of North Shore teens with British Invasion haircuts, tight pants, and a fondness for rhythm and blues. Capitol signed the boys in 2003, and the quartet hit the road with Oasis.

But when Capitol merged with Virgin Records, The Redwalls received a pink slip—with a caveat: They got to keep their latest album, recorded last fall in Sweden with Franz Ferdinand/Cardigans producer Tore Johansson. “It was the best thing they could have ever done for us,” says the lead guitarist, Andrew Langer, 22.

The Redwalls eventually landed on MAD Dragon, a Philadelphia indie operated by Drexel University students. The students handle distribution and promotion; the band, everything else.

Despite the considerably smaller label, the album demonstrates a stylistic leap forward, with flashes of electronic dance, gauzy psychedelics, and, of course, grinding guitar jams. Unlike most garage rock revival albums The Redwalls‘ top-shelf songwriting ensures the band’s future still holds no expiration date.


Photograph: Courtesy of Big Hassle