State Radio
"Us Against The Crown"

(Nettwerk Records/Ruff Shod 2006)State Radio - Us Against The Crown

It has been a long time since politics have sounded so sweet. With a clear reggae feel that taps directly into rock and punk from time to time, State Radio's debut full-length release, "Us Against The Crown" is smooth and melodic. Led by Chad Strokes, the former front man of indie band Dispatch, State Radio proves that sometimes you can get attention easier with thoughtful songs instead of instrumentally aggressive tracks.

Never is State Radio more likable than when their light pop melodies make the pounding percussion background on "Camilo" and the bright "Mr. Larkin" into familiar and instantly memorable songs. Guitar riffs grind and squeak on the soft reggae sounds of "People To People" while "Right Me Up" gently builds to fullness. Instrumentally more minimal tracks like the soft melody of "Riddle In Londontown" and "Calvado's Chopper" really let listeners focus on State Radio with little distraction. Elsewhere State Radio are full and lively for fluid movement on "Man In The Hall" and the speeding punk and rock spin that is added for the nonchalant attitude of "The Diner Song."

Comparatively speaking, State Radio keeps "Us Against The Crown" surprisingly conservative throughout, even opting for some clean-cut pop tracks. Treating the listener like, well, like an old friend, State Radio are able to make their appeals without over stepping any bounds and laying the groundwork for their future. Here is hoping that the band reserve their honest and straightforward approach and put a little more vigor into their music at the same time.

B-

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