Radar Brothers - Eight
The band sounds just fine after nearly 20 years of putting out recordings.
The music invites comparisons to seventies new wave and 80s alternative music. But Jim Putnam's vocals resemble Tom Petty or the Grateful Dead. The level of execution and listener stimulation is similar to Petty's.
It's consistent music, but there aren't enough great songs or even really good ones to get you excited.
"Time Rolling By" breaks out of the mold the best. Here the guitar playing early on provides some added energy for the band. It's nearly 2:00 before the vocals come in, but it's worth waiting for.
The band keeps playing with gusto. The acceleration is helpful on "Reflections", another strong entry.
Faster tempo suits them better (Doesn't it usually?). The speed and guitar riffs elevate "If We Were Banished" to another level.
Points are given for varying their sound. "Couch" moves into country territory via pedal steel. The lyrics throughout are functional. They have enough complexity to cause reflection and study.
The subtlety isn't necessarily a liability. Some cuts sound better on repeated listens. But as intriguing as a song title such as "Change of College Law" is, even a musical segue way mid-way through and a dynamic finish isn't enough to make it a must listen.
Still it's ambitious and coherent. Professional without sounding insincere.
And it's not overly formulaic. "Bottle Song" provides an edginess to the album. The band can bring a quirky sound to the table and still stay in the framework of good melody.
"Angler's Life" is a song, which at times sounds about as thrilling as fishing often is. But it's not so relaxing you want to reject the song either.
Here's hoping all the good guitar riffs can be put to use in a more intense fashion in the future. It's at least promising there's a commitment to staying on a smooth, steady course.
User Reviews and CommentsLog In or Register to Rate Albums
Tell us why this album is great or sucks ass, or correct the reviewer. If you write enough quality reviews you may find yourself on the editorial staff.
Reviews have to be over 100 words, shorter ones are classed as comments.