Get ready to go Radio Ga Ga….
When they signed to their new record label (New Beginnings is their first release for Century Media) by their own admission Radio Moscow spent hours “nerding out on obscure classics from our favourite era of rock ‘n’roll”.
You’d imagine it is something that the three-piece do often, so doing it with their new colleagues was most probably a Busman’s Holiday.
Because – and this is meant entirely as a compliment to Messrs Griggs, Meier and Marrone – “New Beginnings” could have been released at any point in the history of rock music and not been out of place.
A dash of Hendrix here, a touch of Led Zep there, a rare appreciation of the blues – and that is just the opening title track. The sound driven on the back of Griggs quite brilliant playing and a voice that is not too dissimilar to Jay Buchanan of Rival Sons, “New Beginnings” (the song) is a fair summation of what “New Beginnings” (the album) has in store.
Although they look – and sound to a large extent – like a band who would have been opening for Grateful Dead at some point, the true majesty of RM is that they keep it as short as it is sweet. Other bands would jam this to death and amuse no one but themselves, that is not the case here.
Instead songs like “Deceiver” with its mighty hook understand they are contemporary and the band who had one of their albums produced by Black Keys Dan Auerbach have the same ear for the primal.
“Driftin’” for example swings with real guts, and “No One Knows Where They’ve Been” kicks in like a Hendrix outtake, as if they’ve been sent from another time to protect his legacy.
Although the album frequently borders on magnificent, perhaps it peaks on “Last To Know”, which adds a devil may care attitude to the entirely gleeful screeching. Parker Griggs uses the marvellous instrumental “New Skin” to confirm himself as one of the best guitar players there is, and “Pacing” enjoys the mood so much it does it again – only this time with lyrics.
“Pick Up The Pieces” changes the mood entirely, with its laid back psychedelics, while “Dreams” (the longest song here, but still clocking in at under six minutes) gets bonus points for including a drum solo and still being cool.
And really when it comes to this record, things are perfectly simple, if, like MV, you were born slightly after all the best music was made and you’ve had to make do with watching the greats at their peak on old footage, then it’s a fair bet you’ve seen bands that sound like Radio Moscow. Fuzzy riff heavy blues from the late 1960s – and honestly this album could have been a relic from those times. Except it’s not. It’s brand new and its fresh as a daisy. Get tuned in.