The Record Company is breaking old habits on Play Loud. The Los Angeles trio was ready for a change when it came time to make their third album, and they got it: Play Loud pushes the group into uncharted territory with a dozen new tracks that move beyond the sound of The Record Company’s first two albums.
To help widen their musical approach, Marc Cazorla, Alex Stiff and Chris Vos brought in Grammy-winning producer Dave Sardy (Oasis, The Head And The Heart, Death From Above 1979, LCD Soundsystem, The Who), who offered ideas and suggestions, and knew just when to push. They also worked with outside songwriters on their way to amassing far more songs than they’d previously written for an album.
As the title implies, Play Loud is a bigger sounding album, with songs packed full of taut grooves and stick-in-your-head hooks. Though there are echoes aplenty of The Record Company’s origins—including recording all the basic tracks together live in the studio during a brief window in May 2020—there’s also a willingness to experiment. Lead single “How High” pairs bristling guitar with a sleek bassline and distorted vocals, while “Paradise” lays back in a deep pocket with a spare, locked-in rhythm from bass and drums, bright bursts of guitar and, on the chorus, swelling keyboards that give the song a sense of lift. There’s dirty electric guitar and a ’90s hip-hop influence on the pulsing track “Gotta Be Movin’,” and a punchy bassline, tight backing vocals and just the right amount of a pop sensibility on “Never Leave You.”