“Next up was Radio Moscow. Apparently this group has had a bit of a personnel “shake up” in recent days that left lead singer and guitarist Parker Griggs with a hefty gash on his forehead and 14 nasty looking stitches. The current rhythm section consisting of Billy Ellsworth on bass and Lonnie Blanton on drums have only been playing for a week, but that fact was not apparent. Radio Moscow certainly picked up new fans from Baltimore. I spoke with Griggs after the show…”
Check out this review by The Obelisk and loads of photos from the show last Thursday.
“Thursday night was a good evening to be stoned in Manhattan. That is if you were lucky enough to be at the sold out Graveyard and Radio Moscow show taking place at The Bowery Ballroom. The opening night of the month long tour found New York’s stoner rock community out in full force, and the anticipation could be felt from the moment doors opened” …
[CLICK TO READ MORE from Exploding In Sound]
HEADLINING for the evening was Radio Moscow. Fucking mind blowing. Solid drumming from Corey Berry, pounding maniacal bass playing from Zack Anderson. And soul stirring, mind altering guitar genius from Parker Griggs. If I were deaf, I would think these guys played classical music because of their ability to master these extremely complex arrangements with the finesse of a highly refined orchestra. But their sound is ANYTHING but ‘orchestrated’. I have never seen a band where each musician goes off in his own direction, and then comes back together as though it were all in the planned composition. It felt completely organic, authentic and just amazing. Sound is influenced by Blue Cheer, Captain Beyond, MC5 and the Stooges. But they are their own brand of acid, so don’t get any expectations of Search and Destroy covers! Radio Moscow has already released two albums: Radio Moscow in 2007 and Brain Cycles in 2009. They have another one in the can which is expected to release sometime in August. They’ve toured all over Europe and made a HUGE impact in France. They are just finishing up a US tour where they’ll be off to Colorado before heading back to California. LOVE these guys!!
Radio Moscow is a blues-rock band with some heavy psychedelic influences. They’re carved from the same stone as Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and the Allman Brothers. These boys from Iowa know what they are doing, and Brain Cycles is sure to cause all but the most jaded blues-rock fan to drop his head in awe and cry out “goddamn” at least once. This isn’t Wolfmother-style emulation of a classic rock sound – this is the real deal.
With a powerful, crunching Sabbath-style chords and fiery solos that earn the right to be called Hendrixian, Iowa power trio Radio Moscow plants its flag firmly in the territory where psychedelic rock, cranked-up blues, and metal meet. The sound is unabashedly retro (specifically, FM radio from around 1973), so it’s easy to see how it caught the ear of The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, who produced its 2007 self-titled debut.
Like the Keys, Radio Moscow updates an old-school style with pure passion and a refreshing lack of irony.
On a break from the band’s current tour, which brings it to the Turf Club Thursday, July 30, guitarist and frontman Parker Griggs talked with The A.V. Club about working with Auerbach and self-producing the new Brain Cycles.
– Christopher Bahn / The ONION (A.V. Club – Minneapolis)
If the opening squall of Parker Griggs’ paint-stripper lead guitar on opening cut “I Just Don’t Know” doesn’t tell you something significant about the shit that passes for high-rotation-programmed-within-a-centimetre-of-its-sad-existence commercial radio these days, go to the back of the class. You were off playing ABBA records in the home economics kitchen when the teacher broke out the sacrament and gave the rest of the class the lesson in Hendrix 101. Major Fail.
To be accurate, Griggs doesn’t slavishly replicate Jimi’s distinctive overdriven tone and wah-wah wonderment across these 10 bluesy tunes, but he’s batting in the same ballpark and hitting home run after home run for the six string team regardless. Except for the “Voodo Chile” rip in “Hold On Me”, it’s actually his vocal that sounds most like Hendrix (cock an ear to “No Jane” for a dose of “Electric Loudland” but who’s going to split (Afro) hairs about which guitar lick, lead-run and trill most resembles the output of which ’70s guitar hero when it all sounds this excessively good? It’s like “461 Ocean Boulevard” never existed.
This is not the music (term used under advisement) that you’ll hear leaking out of ill-fitting iPod earbuds on the peak-hour train. Take that as a recommendation. Sanity can only stand so much tinny breaks or arrant rap crap on the 7.42am to Dull City. The eight-minute-plus “No Good Woman” even dares to trade in that most outdated of currencies, The Drum Solo. Far from being The Death Of Us All, the indulgence slots right in.
It’s a statement of the obvious that Griggs’ quicksilver fretwork and frenetic, stuttering drums are all over “Brain Cycles.” Bassist Zach Anderson goes along for the ride and pours hot asphalt into all the right potholes. Two people haven’t made this much noise together since Pamela and Tommy made their home movie. At least you can play this in front of the kids.
The thunderous, acid-drenched blare of the title track might be a bigger downer than an early start on a Tuesday morning after a massive long weekend of partying, but it tastes much better than antacid and Red Bull for breakfast.
Only “Black Boot” manages to interrupt the barrage of raw and righteous ’70s rawk – and that’s to dip the toe in the water of bluegrass – but the follow-up of “City Lights” gets us back on track. Sure beats “That ’70s Show” for rear vision entertainment.
One of the best trips I’ve taken in 1969, sorry, 2009.
– The Barman / I-94 Bar