Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Album Review - Radio Moscow - The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz

Radio Moscow
The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz
***and1/2 out of *****

There are different kinds of "retro" albums, some take a beloved genre or sound and use it as a template putting a personal and unique twist on familiar proceedings creating something "like" but unique.  Then there are retro albums that immerse themselves wholly into a style and don't variate, recreating exactly what came before; the term "biting" jumps to mind to describe them.  The line can be fine at times and can get blurred often, that seems to be the case with Radio Moscow's 3rd release, The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz

Fans of late 60's and 70's bluesy psychedelic rock and roll will instantly feel at home as the disk spins out, massive cuts with huge feedback and channel shifting riffs will bring listeners back to lava lamps and late night trips.  The looseness and jam vibe of the whole disk adds to the charm, the sonic hiccups in sound or production seem more planned changes or artistic decisions then mistakes.  Tracks like the hard stomping "Creepin'" and the feedback laced blues workout of "Deep Down Below" (which takes 4 minutes to get where it's eventually going) will remind listeners of the past, instantly calling to mind Hendrix and a host of others (more on that in a minute). 

There are enough crazy tempo shifts, guitar squiggles and effects to keep the listener guessing at times like on the hyper "Speedfreak" and the crunchy propulsion of "No Time".  "Little Eyes" is a fantastical warped journey that feels a lot longer then its 4:45 run time, leaving you breathless when it crashes to a close, a disk highlight and one that the legends this band worship would be proud of.           

However that familiarity can be a bit too comfortable at times as it is virtually impossible to hear songs like "Turtle Back Rider" and "Summer of 1942" and not think instantly of Blue Cheer and their ilk.  There are much worse things in the world then calling back a style and sounding like successful bands, but after a few listens you may reach for some of the dusty originals on your shelf.

The groups retro sound still packs a wallop even if it times it rings too reminiscent of past efforts from some of rock and roll's greatest, Radio Moscow is on the right path with The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz.  The disk would make a great gift to that grumpy fan we all know who is stuck in the 60's /70's and says there is no more "real rock and roll" out there, Radio Moscow could quickly change their mind.          
Some preview tracks from the album, please support the artist and buy the album here, even better go catch them live.
"Little Eyes"

"Speedfreak" Live Paris 2011


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