Stroudsburg is a long way from Seattle.
But you would be hard-pressed to think otherwise listening to Red, the sophomore release from post-grunge revivalists The Crowning.
The six-song collection -- which includes three previously released tunes -- is a strong, hard-hitting effort that finds its footing in the groundwork set by Candlebox and Soundgarden, muddled together with equal dashes of genre torchbearers Chevelle and Breaking Benjamin.
Vocalist-guitarist Micah Martin has a booming, powerful voice tailor-made for the music being blasted behind him. He is backed by an airtight and dynamic rhythm section of bassist Ty Nordstrom and drummer Walter Lee and lead guitarist Ace Hendrix.
Red is balanced nicely between mid-tempo numbers and more muscular tracks. While the slower tunes are nothing to sneeze at in terms of potency, the album truly comes alive when the band turns up the adrenaline, particularly on the tracks "In the Fire," "Hard to Find," and the radio-ready, pop-tinged "She's Running."
For those who miss the days when loud, sludgy guitars ruled the airwaves, this is the album you have been longing for. Flannel not required.
Red is available on CD. The band is targeting a late February/early March digital release date.