RadioRadio | Watch ‘Em All Come Running (s/r)

cd_radioradioI'm struck instantly of the amazing power of music. This song makes me want to cry: that's how deeply the voice and the notes combine, drawing a swell of emotions, of experiences, of memories and living life and feeling completely connected to all that surrounds me.

 

 

 

 

 

I've said it before: I'm a sucker for a pretty voice. But I also need some guitar and percussion to grab onto-some rock, if you will. And Tulsa's RadioRadio provides just that. Following a lullaby-like intro, "Butterfly" kicks in at the 40-second mark with some menacing bass 'n' guitar before breaking once again to allow Greg Hosterman's strong vocals to slip through the headphones and take over.

The music on Watch 'Em All Come Running hints at '80s wave rock, yet it's fresh and invigorating. Hosterman's voice reminds me of Ed Goggin from '90s indie band Molly's Yes (a band I loved almost with embarrassment). Perhaps that's why listening to RadioRadio feels a little like a guilty pleasure—though one I'll cheerfully bear.

There are definite programmed beats on "The Game," another high-energy and highly danceable tune. "These are the rules," Hosterman sings, "this is the game/ these are the fools/ you all look the same."

A meandering bass accompanies distorted vocals to lead off "The World Is Gonna Change You." The guitar line on the chorus here is heavier, pointed, before returning to the hip-shaking funk of "Marathon." Here the vocals are breathy, coming across in a near-loud whisper before letting loose and soaring on the refrain.

"Last Shot" feels slight, especially coming before the alluring, addictive "Photo Boys." Recalling the rockier side of Duran Duran, you just know these boys couldn't have delivered this sultry song without a swagger.

Coming in just past the halfway point, it's the title track that really elevates RadioRadio above other talented bands. Listening, I'm struck instantly of the amazing power of music. This song makes me want to cry: that's how deeply the voice and the notes combine, drawing a swell of emotions, of experiences, of memories and living life and feeling completely connected to all that surrounds me.

The slower "Weight and Groove" perfectly follows. A soundtrack-ready song if ever there was one, this track evokes a montage in the listener's mind as Hosterman gently asks, "Can you carry me?" occasionally slipping into a soft falsetto.

It's back to the dance floor with "Ruby Reflection 395," another sexy bass number complete with "Ooh, ooh, oohs" and the occasional well-placed synth swagger. "Tell everyone we're not coming back" begins the anthemic "We Don't Come From Anywhere." Disc-closer "Splendor Star-Crossed Violets and Blue" still allows Hosterman to showcase his plentiful pipes while bringing the levels down a bit and tying everything together.  

Indie rock is alive and well in America's heartland, my friend. Turn off the radio and put on some RadioRadio. Go on; live a little. B+ | Laura Hamlett

RIYL: The Killers, The Bravery, Duran Duran

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