The Red Telephone was a critically-acclaimed Boston guitar pop quartet who produced several sublimely melodic, sonically adventurous recordings in their seven years together from 1996-2003.
Originally signed to Warner Brothers Records off the strength of a demo tape, The Red Telephone's 1998 WB debut album received no label push, leaving the band lost in the corporate shuffle. The Red Telephone promptly severed ties to Warner Brothers and returned with a slew of self-produced gems, beginning in 2000 with the sparkling AVIATION and culminating in 2001's ambitious concept album CELLAR SONGS. CELLAR SONGS topped the CMJ charts, kept the band relentlessly on tour, landed the Red Telephone on MTV and on a number of soundtracks – all without any label support. The band's infectious sound, marked by shimmering guitars and exquisite songcraft, did not escape fans and critics, however, who lauded them with comparisons to Radiohead, Big Star, The Replacements, R.E.M. and Wilco.
Thanks to the web, the band now has a venue to keep its music available, post previously unreleased material, and keep fans posted on new projects.
Be sure to check out ITunes, CDBaby, and Amazon to explore the hidden treasures of The Red Telephone's back catalogue.
What critics said about The Red Telephone:
"Killer songs floating through a blissed-out dreamscape where pink swirls of guitar curl ever skyward."
-- Jonathan Perry, Boston Globe
"Exceptionally good music. From the blurt of the laser beam of sound that opens the album to the tremolo shivers of 'Burned by the Sun'� the shifting four-note pattern that draws attention to the verses of 'The Possibility Shop'� and the twining leads and chords of 'Last Day of May' (which recall Television's twin-Fender interplay), the guitars play all over this album like dolphins. Although their joy feeds off Hutton's meticulously crafted and genuinely appealing melodies, they're tempered by a hesitancy and restraint that reflect the bittersweet underpinnings of the lyrics and the band's wise minimalism."
-- Ted Drozdowski The Boston Phoenix
"This Boston quartet combines the earthy and the ethereal in the manner of such influential Boston predecessors as Dumptruck and Mission of Burma. The music's center is the edgy yet lyrical interplay of guitarists Hutton and Toohey. [Cellar Songs] is an album of stark, sprung songs that features expansive guitar duets and builds to a 10-minute epic dappled by the light of a marquee moon."
-- Mark Jenkins The Washington Post
"[mix] the power chorded, tormented pop of Husker Du [with] folk-rock recalling The Byrds, Beatle-style chorales, and revved-up surf instrumentals Matt Hutton's smoky growl brings these familiar styles an undeniable immediacy,"
-- Jon Pareles The New York Times
"Mixing Radiohead and U2's guitar prowess with the US power pop and Americana sweep of Wilco and Big Star, [CELLAR SONGS] is an accomplished stroke... Hutton and Toohey's blitzing, intricate guitar work holds total sway.... Songs such as 'Pennsylvania' and 'Last Day of May' are skillful work for an unheralded act, betraying not only complex ensemble arrangements and advanced dynamics, in the roar of the drums and bass against the echoing guitars, but also catchy songs of a high rank."
-- Jack Rabid, THE BIG TAKEOVER (in "Jack's Top 40")
"The band displays a disturbing side that is both instantly hummable and deliciously exciting. The ability to take a pop song and make it both ache and soar is an uncommon gift. The Red Telephone have this gift in spades, and they put it to damn fine use."
-- RD, Splendid
"Relentlessly melodic. Guitars chime and sparkle."
-- J. Edward Keyes CMJ New Music Report
"[Cellar Songs] reassures listeners that the American Underground music scene is alive, well, and in good hands. The band remains centered by an unshakeable pop sensibility that underlies any style they embrace. I defy you to find a better American band this year."
-- Terry Eagan ink19 
"Sublime... an ample showcase for the Telephone's captivating blend of expansive dream-pop atmospheres and attention to melodic precision and detail, from the hazy wanderlust of 'Pennsylvania' to the spangled shimmer of 'I Am Sunday' to the sweeping sonic vistas of 'Burned by the Sun'."
-- Jonathan Perry Suff@Night
"Like a suburban acid trip, the Red Telephone makes the familiar landscape of folk-pop strange and new again with shimmering and celestial echoes My Bloody Valentine.[It's] marked by an unusual delicacy and refinement. By blending "roots rock" with "astral pop" they manage to put both feet firmly on the ground while keeping their heads floating amongst the clouds."
-- John Stazinski Insite, January 2001
"The Red Telephone has mastered the ability to mix pop sensibilities with psychedelic guitars to create lush, dreamy tunes. [Cellar Songs] is rich in message and texture -- tackling the theme of suburban desperation. Using dreamy imagery and music which flows with the lyrics like a tranquil river,The Red Telephone immerses the listener in the mood of each song."
-- Kevin Maurer Nude As The News
"Songs ebb and flow with moments of muted joy and echoes of desolation, evoking at various times Robyn Hitchcock, the Beach Boys and Radiohead."
-- Sarah Rodman The Boston Herald
-- Jonathan Perry The Boston Phoenix
"Smart buzzing songs, sharp tune-smithing, with nifty sonic experimantation"
-- Tristam Lozaw The Boston Herald