Words by Russell Carstens
Available June 17 on Alive Naturalsound Records, Magical Dirt by Radio Moscow is an endlessly groovy record. This time capsule of impressive sixties and seventies-fueled guitar work opens with “So Alone,” a blast of Hendrix-laden psychedelic rock. Its stuttered intro immediately takes you back to the main riff of “Purple Haze.” By the end, your head is spinning and your ears want more. The rest of the album follows suit, with frontman Parker Griggs treating you to unbounded riffs and solos. His guttural vocals sound a bit like a garage rock version of Captain Beefheart.
With the exception of a few well-received breathers, Radio Moscow exudes a heaviness throughout, sounding like the musical child of stoner rock pioneers Blue Cheer and the Japanese experimental metal band Boris. “Sweet Lil’ Thing” features foreboding acoustic guitars and a sparse boot-stomp beat that sounds like an outlaw cowboy kicking his spurs in the dirt before a gun duel.
“Bridges” welcomingly opens the second half of the album with a closing section of sparse backwards tape effects and Eastern influenced Santana-esque riffs over a backdrop of noodling acoustic guitars. This album would be the perfect soundtrack for storming across a desert in an SUV with a solid sound system. Guitar players and musicians will especially love it.
By the time “Gypsy Fast Woman” comes around, it’s more of the same and the sound becomes just a bit tiring. More variety and dynamics would send this album into five-star status. Perhaps better yet, some trimming would make it a flawless EP. Conjecture aside, Magical Dirt is a truly solid effort and Radio Moscow clearly shows potential for future promise. They’ll undoubtedly morph from a great band into a fantastic one as they allow their influences to be more subtle, and continue to develop their own sound. As Sunn O))) advises, “maximum volume yields maximum results.” Crank this one.
Alive Naturalsound Records
© June 17th, 2014
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