Sound — 9
From San Diego, California, Radio Racer's debut album is a marvelous combination of San Diego Power Pop, Punk, and Emo. With the Emo influences of their previous band, Arliss, leader singer, Clark Rhodes, and bassist, Nick Dillinger embark on the frivolous journey of exploding through the Pop rock scene with this beautifully written CD. From slow and catchy songs like "Bittersweet" to the upbeat riffs and drop-c power chords provided by songs like "It's Them I Don't Trust", Radio Racer has truly struck something amazing when one considers the uniquenesses that this band brings to the San Diego Pop-Punk scene. Clarke does an amazing job of synthesizing his emo influences into this San Diego based Punk rock band and Nick, the guitarist, does an excellent job of harmonizing Clarke while backing the songs with the classic San Diego Punk rock sound. The bass is only audible in a few songs, but the drumming and the guitar work overshadows that mere flaw.
Lyrics — 10
Lyrically the album is well-developed and contains a lot of catchy songs that include songs like "Our Thoughts Align" and "It's Complicated." Although this band did appear in an episode of MTV's My Super 16, their lyrics are far from the stereotypical MTV band. With past calamities, disasters, and endeavors fueling this band, one will find out that this CD is laced with tons of metaphorically infused lyrics that will surprise anyone who has any kind of preconceived notion of what San Diego Punk/Pop rock sounds like. While this band does indeed does have many emotionally based songs, it is the juxtaposition of these lyrics to their music that will surprise listeners out there. With emotional songs like "The Ambulance," this band is able reel in the listener while maintaining the listener's attention by doing a miraculous job of interplaying heavy riffs and bass lines with emotionally written lyrics.
Overall Impression — 9
This is truly a unique album and it places a new meaning when one thinks about San Diego Pop-Punk rock. However, this is CD does contain some flaws which may detour some of purchasing this cd. For one, the two instrumentals that are included in this CD is truly a disappointment. These two instrumentals actually degrade the quality of the CD because they are so bad and they sound so monotonous. The two instrumentals have no real place in the CD and really distracts the listeners from the rest of the CD. Cmon, placing a instrumental (which sounds like a drum loop the whole time with a weakly written piano part) before a beautifully written song and then placing another similar instrumental after that very same song is of complete idoicy. It truly ruins the flow of the cd. Nevertheless, the rest of the album is surprisingly good and flows very well. If this CD were to be stolen, I would definitely pay another $6 because it is really a good album, however, I wished that the instrumental did not make the CD because it really messes up the whole vibe of the cd. Nonetheless, this CD is a good buy and will suprise anyone out there and excite those who are searching for that elusive next band that will replace Blink 182.