By Jeff Madore, Rock At Night Orlando Correspondent
Review: RadioBlack’s album “RadioBlack”–Release date May 12, 2017
RadioBlack’s self titled album brings me back to high school and the grunge scene. I can hear the Seattle influences and rock from eras going back to Zeppelin jump out of my speakers while listening. The best part is they manage to reach back to the past but still sound like a modern rock and roll band. The 90’s influence makes sense seeing among the trios lineup is former Smile Empty Soul drummer Derek Gledhill. The lineup is rounded out by singer/guitarist TJ Courtney and bassist Hayato Takano. My best comparison for this band is Foo Fighters with a darker edge lyrically. Here’s a track by track breakdown.
See Myself Out: is a really strong album opener. The drums really drive this song right away. The choruses are big and radio friendly. I love the switch from the pounding drum groove to the half time feel. The bridge brings down the dynamics and feature some strong vocals. Great track to set the mood and prepare you for what you’re going to get.
Sunny Daze: starts off with a nice syncopated rhythm that shows off the bands tightness. The verse is catchier than a lot of bands hooks these days. This song is a head bopper from start to finish and reminds me of classic Foo Fighters.
Into the Sky: nice slow power ballad at the start. Great lyrics and melody and quickly turns up the volume for another great chorus. This is one of my favorites on the album and could see this being a hit. The bridge features some more great drumming and the song builds and builds with the dynamics.
Run Away: starts with just guitar and vocals showing off TJ Courtney’s great tone with both his instruments. Once again a great catchy chorus that brings me back to the best songs of my high school days. This band really has song writing down between dynamics, melody and structure.
Enemies: another song that could be a rock radio hit. Lyrically I’m guessing there’s been some bad relationships history. I love the line “I might be alone but I am living out my dreams”. Besides the big catchy choruses I love the way they bring it down for the bridge and finish off with the strongest of the big choruses. Makes listening from start to finish a pleasure. More great song writing!
Can’t Stop: starts off with the singer songwriter feel. Just a guy letting it out with his acoustic guitar. This song tricked me a few times into thinking the full band was about to let loose only to just keep the tension of the song building.. I like the passion with the near yelling over the soft acoustic. When the band does kick in the tribal drum build is a great touch. This is another of my favorite tracks on the album.
Thread (I am): reminds me of Nirvana right off the bat. With the sing along rebellious chorus. The bridge I could see being sang throughout a venue while the rest of the band drops out. Some great drum fills and grooves in this one as well.
Am I Awake: I hear some Toadies influence in this one. Another strong lyric and melody. This band should do clinics on how to write a catchy chorus. I love that the bridge is just vocals and really shows off TJ’s voice. He’s a great rock singer in a great rock band.
Reinvent: more great dynamics going between power ballad and driving rock song. I like the way the music and vocals sync up in some complicated rhythms. This song is musically complex yet sounds simple which is something only the best of bands can pull off.
Moment’s Weakness: starts with vocals and electric guitar. This song is a slower rocker and brings it down a bit while still being driving. This is an album you’ll want to read all of lyrics too. There’s lyrics we can all relate too and even learn from. Another favorite track of mine.
Nothing is Permanent: nice acoustic riff to kick off the track. Great drum groove when it kicks in and once again another radio hit chorus. Rock radio should be all over this album. Really love the lyrics in this one.
Wrong Places: I hear a mix of 70’s and 80’s rock in this song. Has that guitar band sound. Something I haven’t mentioned much is how great this album sounds. The drums sound huge which I love. More great thumping drums in this one that build it up where it needs it. A great drum fill to end the tunes s the album.
This is a very strong album from start to finish and doesn’t suffer from any filler. We need more bands like this to cut through the rap and pop that has overtaken radio.
1. “See Myself Out”
2. “Sunny Daze”
3. “Into The Sky”
4. “Run Away”
6. “Can’t Stop”
7. “Thread (I Am)”
8. “Am I Awake”
10. “Moment’s Weakness”
11. “Nothing Is Permanent”
12. “Wrong Places”
Originally from Danbury, CT now resides in Winter Garden Florida. Played drums in rock and metal bands for years and have combined my passions for music and photography into concert photography. I also enjoy doing portraits and editorial shoots.