Album Reviews

Radio Moscow

Live! In California

Artist:     Radio Moscow

Album:     Live! In California

Label:     Alive Naturalsound Records

Release Date:     07/08/2016

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Tune into Radio Moscow’s Live! In California, and mind-blowing transmissions of electric blues-rock soaked in psychedelic Kool-Aid come flooding out, free of static. The messages are almost unintelligible, but the lysergic noise emitted is glorious and wild, evoking rose-colored memories of Cream, Blue Cheer and the Jimi Hendrix Experience with a blazing concert release recorded without overdubs in late 2015 over two nights at the Satellite Club in Los Angeles.

Within the ranks of this blustery trio, bolstered by the driving rhythm section of bassist Anthony Meier and drummer Paul Marrone that takes its job as engineer of this crazy train very seriously, is an honest-to-God guitar hero in Parker Griggs. His deep, gravelly vocals don’t get lost in Radio Moscow’s roiling energy, as Griggs unleashes monsoons of torrential, gonzo soloing in “I Don’t Need Anybody” and “Death of a Queen,” among other searing freak outs, including “The Escape.”

Coming in like a lion, but refusing to go out a lamb, Radio Moscow begins the set’s delirium with an unruly and raucous “I Just Don’t Know” and finishes with the muscular closer “So Alone.” Toying with loud-quiet dynamics in a medley of “250 Miles” and “Brain Cycles” that’s brooding and mysteriously bluesy at first, these remarkably lucid stoners later break out in a hard funk sweat that also pours from “Before It Burns” – a journey through astral worlds leaving mouths agape and senses overloaded.

Five albums into their existence, Radio Moscow haven’t quite mastered the craft of songwriting. Tuneful enough, they can still punish, sonically speaking, with quaking heaviness in “Broke Down” and make the devastation sound infectious. What a perfect house band for Hunter S. Thompson’s drug-fueled escapades.

– Peter Lindblad

 

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