The Radio Effect is four-piece band consisting of Theo Matz (guitar/vocals), Lalo Gutierrez (bass), Alex Massenkoff (drums) and Brandon Kerrignan (vocals/guitar). They hail from Napa, California and have been playing together live since 2010. They recently released their album Compass that has been in the works for the last three years. The album contains seven energetic songs that lie somewhere between those wonderful adjectives rock, indie or alternative. They have traces of “vampire weekend” in their blood along with a band like “Bloc Party.” All the fellows here are accomplished at their preferred instruments and they also made some good decisions in regards to aesthetics. For instance, I respected the fact they decided to forgo distortion and reverb on most of the songs and instead go for a clean, sharp guitar tone (it kind of reminded of the sound of the excellent Television album Marquee Moon).
The album begins with “Where It All Began.” It’s a song that has one of the catchiest guitar riffs on the album and is also driven by the energy of the drum work. The singer goes back and forth as he exclaims, “it could possible, you are so capable” throughout most of the song as it starts to become hypnotic. “Dress the Part” is another well-put together song that showcases a more dynamic performance by the lead singer. He goes from what sounds like him talking fast to singing to going a couple of octaves higher when he sings the chorus. The high point of “The Scene” comes right after the three-minute mark where the band is at their finest. The jangly clean guitars, steady bass and drums come together nicely. I thoroughly enjoyed the complex guitar patterns and one off timing on “Phases.” On top of the effective tom work it proved to be an effective formula. “Which Side Up” closes the album and is the most anthemic of the songs on this album. The Radio Effect presents us with a sing-along type of chorus and even pulls out some slight distortion on the guitars.
Compass is a solid album for three year’s worth of work. The songs are good (not great) but also have moments within the songs themselves that makes you take notice of the amount of talent this band has.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook