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Live! in California

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Album Review

On their first three albums, Radio Moscow weren't so much a band as Parker Griggs' personal project, with the guitarist and singer usually overdubbing himself into a full group in the studio rather than dealing with other musicians. That all changed with 2014's Magical Dirt, which found Griggs working for the first time with a rhythm section that lived up to his standards. With bassist Anthony Meier and drummer Paul Marrone, Radio Moscow was now a real and functional power trio, just like obvious inspirations Cream, Blue Cheer, and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and Griggs seemed delighted to be able to concentrate fully on his guitar freakouts for a change. 2016's Live in California, recorded during a pair of Los Angeles gigs in December 2015, documents just how deep Griggs has gotten into his guitar heroics since then, and he has impressive chops. He's assembled a solid musical vocabulary from the blues wailers and pre-metal heavy dudes he clearly worships. Griggs' jams are full of energy, with Meier and Marrone kicking him into overdrive from beginning to end as he pumps out wave after wave of thick, distorted riffage. Radio Moscow honestly sounds better and more fluid as a genuine band than they did as a one-man studio project, and this album will be manna from heaven for a certain breed of stoner rock enthusiasts. The liner notes do include the helpful note, "Play this album as loud as possible and as high as possible."


Formed: 2004 in Ames, IA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Named for the pre-Cold War precursor to the propaganda outlet Voice of Russia, Radio Moscow are a blues-rock trio from Ames, Iowa, with a similarly anachronistic retro feel. Where bands like the Black Keys (whose guitarist Dan Auerbach produced Radio Moscow's debut album) and the White Stripes play with a stripped-down, modern take on the old power trio sound, Radio Moscow hark back to the glory days of the power trio, when Cream, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and Blue Cheer roamed the earth and the...
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Live! in California, Radio Moscow
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