Photo: The Red Pears @Bandcamp
The Red Pears original founding members. Photo: Instagram - @lu.ease

The Red Pears’ future is bright

The Red Pears are an indie rock group representing their hometown of El Monte, California.


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Known in Spanish as “Las Peras Rojas,” the indie/alternative rock group, The Red Pears, are named after the color of an anjou roja.

The Red Pears consist of Henry Vargas, Jose Corona, and Patrick Juarez. Vargas acts as lead singer, guitarist and songwriter, Corona is the drummer, and Juarez is on bass. They hail from El Monte, California, where ska and punk surrounded members.

The band released their most recent single, “Not in the Cards,” this past May. 

The single was the follow-up to their 2019 EP, Alicia. “Not in the Cards” shows Vargas putting on an enthusiastic vocal performance, while the band utilizes their guitar-driven model to its fullest extent.

So far, the group has enjoyed an eventful career, proclaiming they have reached “new heights and new territory that has been inconceivable for any Latino coming out of the San Gabriel Valley.”

The Red Pears partly owe their conception to a fight Vargas was caught in during his time at El Monte High School. After it took place, Vargas transferred to Mountain View High School, where he met Corona at a ‘battle of the bands' event.

The band was started after discussions between Vargas and Corona about their musical pursuits. It formed in the Summer of 2014, and developed successfully thanks to shared backgrounds, mindsets, visions, and influences.

Inspired by names such as The Strokes and Arctic Monkeys, The Red Pears deliver a cool and collected alt-rock sound reminiscent of styles picked up from the aforementioned influences. 

Both Arctic Monkeys and The Strokes invigorated The Red Pears to make their own music, citing the simplicity of their musical styles as reason to try their own hands at songwriting and recording.

To listeners of Arctic Monkeys, the longing vocals of the smooth-singing Vargas may appear similar to the vocal inflections of singer Alex Turner — only with a stronger garage rock tinge.

The name ‘The Red Pears’ itself is homage to famed duos in rock music, namely The Black Keys and The White Stripes. Before the band became a trio, Corona mentioned that all two-piece bands appeared to represent a color. Additionally, ‘pear’ was meant to originally resemble the ‘pair.’

First performing at a church’s open mic night, the band began playing what shows they could book thereafter at house parties, coffee shops, bars, and more open mic nights. 

Many ideas Vargas brainstormed prior to the band’s formation would make their way into the debut album’s songwriting. These early Red Pears songs were recorded in Corona’s garage with the software, GarageBand.

Due to the limits of their early recording setup, the band developed a sound described as raw and distinctly garage rock. 

Similar qualities are often attributed to other home-recorded music, and common points of interest for fans of independent recordings. The band notes that these attributes became focal points for fans, somewhat defining their listeners.

The band’s first album — the long-titled We Bring Anything to the Table… Except Tables We Can’t Bring Tables to the Table — is a great starting point. 

Tracks such as “Daylight/Moonlight” and “Forever” highlight the tenaciousness of the group early on. Behind the raw recordings, The Red Pears were quickly making a name for themselves through their pointedly somber indie music.

When their first album was released in 2015, the group expressed excitement about unexpected attention. Later on, the garage rock characteristics would be dropped, relegated mostly to the early recordings.

The group’s second outing, 2018’s For Today, for Tomorrow, for What Is, for What Could’ve Been, immediately showcased a higher production value. While the group retained some aspects that made their debut so invitingly raw, clear improvements were made in many other areas. 

These improvements can be heard on tracks such as “1969” and “Reggae Song,” which both display higher achievements in songwriting, layered with more elevated sections of guitar and rhythm. The album also had the band experiment more with different genres as is the case for the latter track.

On this sophomore album, The Red Pears pulled off one of their most effectively loving tunes with “11:03,” a trim, acoustic ballad that compares uniquely to the group’s earlier love tunes. 

“Spanish Song” from the same LP saw The Red Pears embracing their Latino backgrounds as Vargas sang in Spanish. 

The release of The Red Pears’ first two albums kicked off a growing performance career for the band — one that ultimately landed the El Monte musicians at Coachella in 2019.

Going forward from the release of “Not in the Cards,” The Red Pears are likely to stay committed to their El Monte roots. 

“I want to claim where we’re from, even if people discourage it,” Vargas told The Press-Enterprise in 2019. “We want to make a different impact.”

With a collection of shows planned for the West Coast — some to be played alongside the bands Beach Fossils and Wild Nothing — the future of The Red Pears music is only up.


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