Red Planet shows it can really rock on the group's first full-length, Revolution 33, which was released by Gearhead Records in 2000, but the bandmembers don't always choose to hit it that hard. Sometimes they skip along on a trippy mid-tempo wash of electronic effects and hazy vocals instead. But even the lighter numbers weave spacy moog melodies through a heavy grind of distorted rock guitar, for a poppy sound with a tough edge that recalls Cheap Trick and the Cars. Jeremy Powers' attitude-rich vocals range from a playful sashay to the lazy surfer's drawl of the band's native California, as he sings about girls and music with self-disparaging humor, as in, "Sensual girl, I'm not ready for you," on "Sensual Girl." The numbers that shine are those that rock hardest, like "Satellite Radio," propelled by the rhythm section's pounding momentum, topped with a buzz saw of guitar that wails into a solo with the ferocity of '80s shredders. "Dean Taylor" has a jaded Lou Reed vocal delivery, alternated with a glam singsong and funky guitar solo. Mid-tempo numbers sometimes lose momentum under waves of atmospheric keyboards and effects, but even less distinct songs are spiced up with an international assortment of influences, including blues harmonica on "Drop the Bomb" and a sitar jam on "Be My Yoko." This album is a poppy introduction to the band's later, more sophisticatedly melodic rock & roll, and a good bet for fans of rock that is more dreamy than driven.
AllMusic Review by Sarah Tomlinson