Radio Exile - 'Radio Exile'

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Radio Exile - 'Radio Exile'

If there is a "must have" album this year, here you have it boys and girls.

Occasionally something will sneak up and hit you so hard you wonder "where the hell did that come from"? Having received my copy of Radio Exile, just the album with no bio, I consigned it to the "will get to" pile. Having decided to pop it in the car stereo the other day, what came out of the speakers almost caused me to hit the brakes in an effort to get my bearings back.

On doing some internet digging RE consists of Charlie Calv (Shotgun Symphony – keyboards), Kenny Aaronson (HSAS – bass), Chandler Mogel (Outloud – vocals), Jimmy Leahy (guitar) and Dave Anthony (drums) with production handled by Stephen DeAcutis (John Meyer, Joe Lynn Turner, Laura Brannagan). Calv (as one of the main writers) has brought an undeniable SS-influence to proceedings; particularly on tracks such as the superb opener 'High Road, High Price' that rollicks along wonderfully and is comparable to anything from the wonderful 'Sea Of Desire' album. A further notable influence is the equally magnificent 'Road To Exile' which closes the album.

Bookended by these stunning examples of Melodic Rock at its Pompiest, swaggering best are another whole host of gems awaiting discovery such as the best Lynch Mob (circa 'Wicked Sensation' era) track that George Lynch didn't write, 'No Pity On The Highway' or the absolutely superb 'Down In A Hole' in all its galloping glory.

If I was to be picky, and I mean REAL picky, I would question the inclusion of the Queen-like 'Higher Than The Sun', which for me is out of place beside the album's other nine tracks. In saying that, it's played and delivered to the highest of standards, but is just, well, dare I say it, unnecessary.

The backing vocals, supplied by Jessie Wagner (Kid Rock, Lenny Kravitz), are prominent throughout and add a beautiful silky gloss to the release; so often a critical area that can be undervalued looking at the bigger picture.

Suffice to say, my recovery is now complete having come to terms with one of the finest albums of 2015. I did think of writing this had the same effect on me as the first time I heard Gotthard, although in the cold light of day perhaps it's not quite the same, but damn close.

This is a marvellous, marvellous album. If there is a "must have" album this year, here you have it boys and girls. It's so good Calv should refund you if you don't like it... just tell him Kieran Dargan sent you...

Kieran Dargan

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