If you attended filthy hardcore shows at Gilman Street during 1996, you may remember Redscare maintaining the opening slot on those gigs much of the time. You probably remember them more for their vocalist Cera’s obnoxious red leather pants (prompting the nickname “Redpants”) than for their music, but that’s why we’re here today. Redscare hailed from the bullshit whitebread burgh of Walnut Creek, but peeked over the hills towards Gilman Street and Oakland’s heavy punk/crust scene for inspiration. People who knew them on a more personal level would probably say that they looked around the dinner table instead. If I am correct, Cera’s older brother was Multi-Facet’s drummer Dan, while the brother/sister tandem of Elizabeth and Greg Schneider were the younger siblings of Bill from Monsula and Pinhead Gunpowder. Doesn’t that just warm your little heart? Unfortunately, it also fueled criticism of the band and perceptions of nepotism in Gilman booking habits by some that were envious of Redscare’s ability to get good shows regularly. Redscare was a fine band regardless of who they were related to. As if you could expect them to turn down shows with bands they enjoyed.
I believe this is the second of two Redscare demos recorded in 1996. Listening to it all these years later, they actually come off as more musically progressive than the Oakland crust bands they usually played with. At times, it is like a hybrid of that Oakland sound with some of the heavier emo bands that predated the whole “emo/screamo” thing by a few years. Redscare continued in this direction, eventually coming into their own with results that made their previous detractors begin to take them more seriously. Too bad they broke up without documenting their best material. The last show I saw them play at Gilman in November of 1998 was fantastic. Cera was out of the band by that point, leaving Elizabeth as the primary vocalist. The musical intensity they displayed that evening had to have been at least partially fueled by wanting to prove that there was more to this band besides older brothers and red leather pants. Redscare broke up shortly afterward.
Redscare may not have been a definitive band in the East Bay punk scene, but they are one that I remember in a nicer way than others at that time. I think more than enough time has passed to where the scene politics no longer matter (as if they ever did in the first place) and Redscare can be appreciated for the decent band that they were.
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