CD REVIEW: Sons of the Radio - The Delicate Machinery
by: Cyrus Rhodes
Artist/Band: Sons of the Radio
Album: The Delicate Machinery
Genre: Modern Rock, Hard Rock, Alternative Rock
Sounds Like: Incubus, Faith no More, Audioslave, Soundgarden, Ratt, Alice in Chains
Technical Grade: 8/10
Weakness: A Few Winded Songs, Short sided CD
Sons of the Radio is a rock band from the Baltimore, Maryland area, formed in 2009. Their music is characterized by energetic guitar riffs with tasteful leads and solos laid down by Mike Sullivan, and a strong rhythm section featuring Tom Kravulski on bass and Jimmy Herberson on drums, and catchy melodic vocals by frontman Matt Gomez. They have released two albums, Heartstrings & Heresies (2010), and The Delicate Machinery (2013), both of which have received regular rotation on major radio stations in the Baltimore/DC broadcast areas. SotR has opened for a diverse array of touring artists, including Candlebox, My Darkest Days, Black Stone Cherry, The Misfits, LA Guns and Plain White T's.
The CD kicks things off with “Melodramatic Yellow” a hard rocking intro groove that serves up rocked out guitar intro, driving rock rhythm against hooky chorus and melodic vocal presence from Gomez. Track 2 shifts gears a bit with “Posters on the Wall” a marketable follow-up piece that serves up heartfelt vocal delivery and dynamic musical movement that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. Track 4 “The Suppliant" keeps things moving with its methodical musical build, thick low end groove painted against dynamic musical feel. As the CD quickly unfolds I can hear influences ranging from Incubus, Faith no More, Audioslave, Soundgarden, Ratt, to Alice in Chains. On some pieces I can even hear traces of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. The music has everything you would expect from a high octane power driven hard rock CD but goes down clean with a modern sound. The musical style refuses to be pinned down as this band is kind of hard to pigeonhole. The guitar playing is hot to the touch. There are also touches of Classic Jam band but with a modern Psychedelic-Rock to Hard Rock aftertaste. Gomez’s vocal style works extremely well with this style of music with its stereotypical jagged edge delivery. He’s got good power, a wide range and a solid vibrato to boot. He keeps reminding me of Stephen Pearcy (Ratt). I might add his timing is spot on and at times his vocal intensity is off the charts. Gomez is a good singer! I also noticed a few hot to the touch guitar solos along the way. Rhythm section - lays down the low end groove thick as a brick with impressive percussive accents and intricate hi-hat work. What I like most about the music is its sheer consistency, intensity; note for note and song for song. By track 5 the CD hits solid stride dishing out many impressive songs in a row. Like a heavy weight boxer the songs keep coming at you one after the other - with no sign of letting up. I also like some of the classic jam band moments and modern-psychedelic rock production touches on some of the songs. From upbeat “Dreams in the Rain” to bluesy “Lady Conundrum” to melodic “Bagman” to rocking “Damage Collective” this CD pretty much has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with track 12 “In the fall” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
All songs over 3.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. Minus the 2 short pieces there are only 10 songs total. Perhaps 3 of 4 more tracks are needed to make this a fully loaded CD release. The “Beach Boys” harmonies on “Bagman” sound really Cheesy to me. Overall I like my hard rock a lot more dirty and chaotic sounding. This CD is more like a Lamborghini than a 1970 Muscle Car to me.
This latest release by Sons of the Radio is a solid rocked out musical statement from start to finish. Its strength – the raw song for song intensity that keeps coming at you. The music is clean yet rock solid, heavy and consistent. The playing, writing and singing is amazing and no doubt these cats are a riot to check out live around. Like a heavy weight fighter this CD packs a powerful punch, and goes the full 12 rounds with no sign of letting up. Like a 1-2 punch the songs keep coming at you, one after the other until you’re ready to tap out. What am I trying to say? Sons of Radio proves that the Rock n’ Roll party is still going strong.