Radio Moscow

Magical Dirt

Written by: BV on 26/06/2014 14:29:18

Ever since the release of their self-titled debut around the time of 2007, Radio Moscow have been specializing in a tight-knit heavy psychedelia-laden blues-rock, topped off with the ingenious fretwork of guitarist/vocalist Parker Griggs. In drummer Paul Marrone and bassist Anthony Meier, Griggs has a rhythm section that is not only on par with his own playing, but one that actually has the enviable skills to meet it head on – and their newest album, “Magical Dirt”, is the very essence of why the trio seemingly works so well.

Whether it’ll be on album opener “So Alone” or on the eclectic, predominantly acoustic “Sweet Li’l Thing”, there is an abundance of virtuosity present that is not just jaw-dropping, but also highly enviable. There is a certain feeling of hazard throughout most of the tracks as you constantly get the feeling that these tracks could fall apart at any crazy little whim – that is the amount of edge the trio manages to convey throughout tracks like “These Days” and “Got the Time” – however, despite coming off as dangerously close to the edge, there is also the hint of virtuosity that constantly reassures the listener that, if anything, Radio Moscow would be able to continue and build upon a rhythmical fall-out; making it a track that would probably be all the better for it.

It never quite comes as far though, as this is, after all, a studio production where all aspects have been thought thoroughly through before being released to the public. As such, it seems relatively clever to showcase a track like “Gypsy Fast Woman” which, by all means, boasts the funkiest groove on the album which has Marrone performing some most enviable snare-work to supplement this groove all the while being subtly supported by the bass-fills from Anthony Meier. With “Bridges” we reach the longest cut of the album, clocking in at just about 5 minutes. It portrays a slower tempo than the one portrayed in the blazing “These Days” for instance, but the intertwining guitar, bass and drum-work seems to be somewhat reminiscent of “Death of a Queen” – one of the album’s other strong cuts – meaning that there is a definite cohesion throughout the album as no single track seems to fully separate itself from the album’s flow.

Concluding this review, it is hard to pinpoint any exact highlights of “Magical Dirt”. The overall cohesion makes it an abundant trip but it also makes sure that if the listener isn’t on board by the fourth track or so, then that listener will probably not be on board for the rest of it either. In many ways though, I feel that “Magical Dirt” is not necessarily on par with the very greatest Radio Moscow material but I also find it excruciatingly hard to find any full-fledged points of criticism, save for the fact that you’ll have to be the type of person that listens to albums in their entirety to fully appreciate “Magical Dirt” – but then again, that’s not really a bad thing.

Download: Gypsy Fast Woman, Death of a Queen, These Days
For the fans of: Witchcraft, Siena Root, Dead Meadow
Listen: Facebook

Release date 17.06.2014
Alive Records

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