Sound — 7
Modern rock trio State Radio create music with a purpose. The band's latest release Let It Go has tracks that are politically charged while engaging audience's consciousness to look outside their individual lives. As the trio's peers make songs with an escapist slant, State Radio put listeners face to face with harsh reality while keeping the music melodically toned. With a mix of classic rock, old school punk, coffeehouse folk, and funk-inspired reggae, Let It Go has a variety of complementing traits. The reggae-rock swells of "Arsenic And Clover" and the title track have reflections of The Police as lead vocalist/guitarist Chad Stokes shapes his melodies to nestle the pivoting grooves of bassist Chuck Fay and drummer Mike Najarian. The old school punk romps of "Knights Of Bostonia" have a jovial pub flapping, and the classic reggae grinding of "Bohemian Grove" and "Evolution" recall of Bob Marley. The spiky guitar shreds of "Mansin Humanity" have a molten texture that is a model of modern rock, and the danceable beats of "Calling All Crows" and "Doctor Ron The Actor" stretch State Radio's limbs into the arena of club music. The band makes the album more complex with the dark rock vining of "Held Up By The Wires," the smooth folk rock weaves of "Blood Escaping Man," and the soul-rock glossing of "Still And Silent." State Radio stay loyal to their musical influences while dallying in experimental combinations.
Lyrics — 7
Most of the lyrics are politically charged like in "Blood Escaping Man" describing the fallibility of government officials, "There's been a dead reckoning with the government / Though they seem to know their plan / They're drawing all their lots to see who's the better man." Sometimes the lyrics have a social message like in "Calling All Crows" as Stokes narrates, "Said the rebel to the rebel / I will go if you come with me / I'm tired of living in a fable / Blue sky I'd love to see / The journey must continue and does not stop in me, no / Cause the river's wide / But with all of us, we can reach from side to side / And it is here that we must all." The lyrics ring out like an anthem, which State Radio have a tendency of doing. They do it again in "Knights Of Bostonia" as the lyrics relate, "I know the feeling of the fight / I never saw you blink / We been up against the crab apple sling shot sting / I got my trash can lid on my wing / We're the Knights of Bostonia.
Overall Impression — 7
Alot of musical influences show up in State Radio's songs. What sets the trio apart form their predecessors is the way they intermingle traits and merge textures like rock with reggae, folk or soul-inspired grooves. Most of the band's concentration is in making the lyrics poignant and reflective of modern day struggles and troubles. Let It Go reinforces the band as socially political activists urging that progression can be made at the hands of regular people and not governments.