Crossing the lines of contemporary, and keeping the soothing appeal of classic enthusiasm, State Radio is a band that jumps through stereotypes and creates its own genre. This Boston-based band has most recently been popping up seemingly everywhere.State Radio is making big waves and great moves, such as opening for Dave Matthews Band on a few different occasions throughout their tour last year. It is moves like that which solidify these guys in a repertoire all of their own.
Having had no biases, I pressed my ear to a new sound entirely and my world was broadened in a matter of seconds by the sounds these guys dish out. Band members Chad Stokes Urmston, Chuck Fay, and Mike “Mad Dog” Najarian have found a way to take the influences of rock, punk, and reggae and twist them together in a sort of disruptive pattern, squeezing out nothing less than musically sublime frequencies. Aggressive and often times political in nature, State Radio has been compared to the sounds of Rage Against the Machine, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, and The Clash. They are very much like Bob Marley and Rage Against the Machine in the sense that their power is most undoubtedly based in their lyrics and actions to inform and make an impact on the world and their listeners.
The live acoustic EP State Of Georgia, which was released on iTunes August 25 features songs from Chad Stokes' two sold-out solo acoustic nights at the Brattle Theatre last December.
The first track off of this live EP is one of my favorite tracks, the title track "State of Georgia." This song starts off temporally slow, giving it that solid acoustic edge we all love, but right as Chad Stokes breaks into the first chorus line he mashes it out with heavy guitar strokes and passion screaming from his vocals. Every one of these songs speaks of politics, politics demanding attention just as State Radio seems to do with every track on this EP.
The third track off this album, “Knights of Bostonia,” seems to tell a tale of the true roots from which the band springs. It's a high-powered song, with plenty of bass to surely get any Boston native feeling proud, and bring fans from afar closer to the city. In a video posted on the band's website, Chad speaks of the song's meaning as a group of young Boston kids just trying to ‘fight off the fall’ and keep summer from coming to an end. Whether you are from Boston or not, this song brings a beautiful understanding of what we have all felt at one point or another in our youth.
Another song I have favored off of this EP is “Blood Escaping Man.” This song is portrayed from a more poetic standpoint than some of the others, making it quite an amazing one from a lyrical standpoint. Whether it's shying away from or leaning closer toward politics and socialism, that I am unsure of. But I have come to find that this song in some way is a loose metaphor for Homer’s "The Odessy," emphasizing the brilliant songwriting talent that State Radio possesses. Not only can this band ultimately fight for what they believe in through their music, and make it ring out with nothing but pure aggressive delight, they also can write an amazing blend of profound songs through which they can portray their activism.
I love how State of Georgia seems to have a way of turning your mind around, and steering your observations deep into every word of the song, leaving you in some doubt as to the "state" in which we all live. Which I have come to believe is what these guys are all about.
I am impressed with this little EP, lacking in length perhaps, but definitely not lacking in enthusiasm. I am looking forward to hearing what the next album Let It Go (release date: Sept. 29, 2009) has to offer.