Sunday, April 1, 2012

Album Review: On Your Way EP by Radio Drive By

God love these boys from Arizona, I think Radio Drive By follows me on every form of social media I have. Not that I mind, I just have to laugh every time their name comes up. Finally getting around to checking them out, I have to say I was impressed. They remind me a lot the other bands out of Arizona that I love (My Girl Friday, The Maine and This Century to top the list), but that's not to say they sound the same. They don't. It must be something about the dry heat out there, but they have that feel. Vague yes, but that's the best word I have for it and you're used to me being vague.

The EP they've put out, On Your Way is a four song love story from end to start, oddly enough it does seem to go in that order. "Desiree" opens with the line "we were just kids" which hooks anyone over the age of twenty-one. Oh god, you think. Those days. Where you were stupid and young and did things and got into relationships that you didn't understand properly and they fell apart. Which is this song. By the time the song gets to the line "don't forget me" in the chorus you're thinking, please don't.

"Where Your Heat Belongs" brings in backing vocals from Steff Koeppen which doesn't actually take away from the song. I love an added female vocalist, love a powerful male / female combo (see Sleeper Agent) but sometimes…it just doesn't work. A good singer does not make a good back up vocalist. The meshing of voices really works though. Then the vocals drop on "What You Need" and forget the rest I got completely hooked.

Last up is the ballad, which always tells a lot about a band. It's more acoustic, forcing vocals to take over, which they do. The lead singer has a unique voice, which doesn't seem like it would stand up alone, but it really does and while the song has such a pretty sound that sucks you into it? It's not this massive deviation from everything else. Sometimes when a band busts out a ballad it sounds like a different band (and worst, if that song gets put on the radio. Imagine your surprise when everything else is yelling and loud bass lines). That's not the case with this song, it's a ballad by the same band, enough to slow you down and make the young girl tear up (which sounds trite, but face it, that's the goal).

I love the lyrics, just specific enough to break a heart, but not to alienate the listener, hitting those painful or better moments that always seem to crop up when it's the last thing anyone wants. It's catchy pop rock that gets stuck in your head, but you don't mind humming all day.

Pick up the EP on iTunes or stream the full thing on their Facebook page (after you like the page).


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