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The Radio Hour

Radio Power

Review by Gary Hill

This is quite an intriguing set. I’m sure there will be those who will argue with it landing under progressive rock. There are a few songs that really don’t fit. Even the ones that do are closer to modern prog styles like shoegaze. The thing is, no matter how you label it, this album is very strong. The mix of sounds works really well, and there is enough variety to keep it interesting from start to finish.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Tuesday

There is a great psychedelic groove to this thing. It’s alternative rock but full of things like prog. This is such a cool tune and a great way to start the set.

World in a Day
Moody and rather dark, this is very much a modern progressive rock kind of piece. As cool as the opener was, this takes it to all new levels. I love the instrumental breaks on this. There is still some psychedelia in the mix, but overall this is progressive rock at its modern finest.
Heartbreaks and Slamming Doors
Although this still has some hints of the proggy concepts we heard on the first couple songs, it’s more of a straight forward alternative rocker. There are some shoegaze like layers, though. It’s a nice bit of variety, but I don’t like it as well as the stuff that came before it.
Look for You
Alternative rock, modern prog and psychedelia merge on this piece. It’s one of the more complex pieces here. There are some really soaring moments, too. I like this one a lot. It feels like the set is back on track here. The vocal arrangement is particularly effective and the chorus hook is positively infectious.
Radio Power 4:00 AM
Mellow guitar brings this into being. From there it builds to a mellower, slower moving track. It has elements of shoegaze and psychedelia. It’s moody and quite effective.
No Dissociation
More energized, this piece seems to meld the sounds we’ve heard so far with something a bit like Radiohead and perhaps The Cure. It’s a proggy tune and a strong one.
Not Ready
More of a mainstream alternative rock overall, the instrumental movement brings it more into prog territory. I love the guitar soloing on that extended section. Some of the vocals and hooks on this make me think of REM.
Miserable Coping
With healthy helpings of psychedelia, this is less prog and more pure rock. It’s energized and a fun number.
The Killing Stone
A stew of moody modern prog and Americana makes up this cut. It’s not as strong as some of the rest. It’s not entirely mellow and moody, though. It does reach upward on the chorus.
Rollercoaster
This mellower cut is more alternative rock merged with Americana. Still, there are hints of proggy concepts here.
Friday Night
A bouncy little rocker, this reminds me of the glam rock of Sweet.
Apart from These Tragic Stories
Echoey and trippy, this really does combine shoegaze and psychedelia in a very effective way.
Mainstreaming
Roots rock merges with shoegaze here. There are some hints of something like The Beatles, too. This is a great groove, really.
 
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