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ROCK ON! This Week's Sound Bites...2/18/16
By Danny Coleman
originally published: 02/18/2016
Radio Exile is a five member unit comprised of veteran musicians whose current successes not only reflect years of dedication to their individual crafts but are also a testament to their perseverance and talents. Their self-titled debut disc leaves no doubt as to their influences and what they were trying to accomplish; fantastic, hard drivin' rock 'n' roll with an '80's metal feel.
Led by Chandler Mogel's powerful lyrics and searing vocal, it's hard to imagine anyone not flocking to this release like sheep as this band is the real deal; not contrived material or players put together on a whim from an intoxicated idea at a recording session or some back stage party. Keyboardist Charlie Calv, guitarist Jimmy Leahey, bassist Kenny Aaronson and drummer Dave Anthony have assembled a well written, well produced and well played 10 track effort worthy of any and all accolades that are sure to come its way.
The CD kicks off with "High Road, High Price," a real attention grabber featuring dissonant power chords followed by tribal drum rhythms and a brief wailing vocal track; both of which are revisited later in this somewhat lengthy yet riveting opener.
"Soulfire" is a fantastic cut and one that takes the listener on a diverse musical trip as Leahey's guitar drives the tune throughout interrupted only by a neat percussion laden bridge section that resolves itself back into an "80's feel intertwined with Disney's "Lion King" type big harmonies. This selection is also currently in video post-production and will be released as the disc's second single and video.
"No Pity on the Highway" is the first single and and corresponding video and is the third cut on the album. A heavy guitar driven piece that showcases Leahey once again but only after a solid kick in the pants drum intro that sets the tone for Aaronson's in your face bass work. This tune rocks hard and is a guaranteed speeding ticket; go ahead, keep your foot off of the accelerator, I dare you.
"Feels Like Home" changes the pace a bit and focuses on Mogel as he takes on Calv's melodic keyboard headfirst with the result being a solid, upbeat rocker that floods the aural senses with a strong lead performance, great backing harmonies and some well placed percussion by Anthony that is mixed to perfection.
"I want to break through, start anew, heaven for us has begun, if we can shine through, follow through, love will take us higher than the sun..." This chorus pretty much says it all about track number five; "Higher Than the Sun." A catchy, upbeat, dare I say "Pop-ish" type of tune from its melody to its length; this is definitely different from the first four cuts on the disc and a great choice to remind everyone that this band is as diverse as it is rocking. Calv said in an earlier interview that the band, "Didn't want to be pigeon holed into a certain style," and if the first five tracks are any indication; they are true to their word.
"Hang On" is a song of reflection about a failed relationship and a man's desire to not let go of something which is obviously no longer there. Another well done track that is engineered to perfection; it flows well from start to finish and the lyrical content in this upbeat piece touches anyone who has ever loved and lost.
"Starting Over," like most of this CD, possesses a big, bold melodic sound. Featuring background vocals/harmonies, a big drum intro, heavy keyboard runs and that '80's power punch production work with just the right amount of reverb that guarantees the "Wow factor."
The eighth track is another upbeat, albeit straight forward tune called "Down in the Hole."
Simple and direct and again, different from the rest of the compilation; however, this offering seems like a throw in to take up space. A well done cut but it seems to lack the enthusiasm of the other nine.
"A Cross on Stone" returns the album to the flow that the previous selection mildly sidetracked. A slower tempo with great production work and the backing vocals of Joe Cerisano, Amy Harnell and Jessie Wagner (the three were given instructions to, "Do as they want."), catapults this tune onto a whole other level. The "Thing" that makes this song special and unique is that it's just there, nothing extravagant, nothing mind blowing; just heartfelt use of talent that is rarely seen in an industry that manufactures cookie cutter bands, where voices sound very much alike and are told where, when and how to express themselves. The use of improvisational vocals coupled with a great pace and quality lyrics makes this a grade above the rest and should be a track that receives much airplay.
Wrapping it up is "Road to Exile." Starting with a percussion introduction and totally unlike anything else on the disc; this one wastes no time in kicking it back into overdrive and the big sound returns once again. Starting with drums, ending with strings and rocking in between; this was a fabulous way to close it all out.
Overall, "Radio Exile" is without doubt, one of the best debut records out there today or any day for that matter. Magnificently produced by Stephen DeAcutis (Vanilla Fudge, Cyndi Lauper, Corey Glover) who created a full sound while highlighting all of the right things and burying others in the mix so that they stand out when necessary. By blending all of the ingredients into a perfect talent entree that fans old and new should be clamoring for and creating a new sound from an old style; this disc is a winner and should be served up on everyone's music menu.
To purchase this CD or discover more about Radio Exile, please go to www.radioexile.net.
That's it for this week! Please continue to support live and original music and until next week....ROCK ON! Amalfi's Restaurant
146 Lawrenceville-Pennington Rd. Lawrenceville
Fri. 8:30 p.m. Ja-Tun & Random Acts of Soul
Sat. 8:30 p.m. PapaDeluxAmarones Windsor Inn
29 Church St. Windsor
Fri. 8 p.m. Larry D
Sat. 8 p.m. Shore SoundzBlend Bar & Bistro
911 Highway 33, Hamilton
Tues. 8 p.m. Triviajam Backstage at Championship Bar
931 Chambers St. Trenton
Fri. 7 p.m. Uprise Shadow, Arato Brothers Band, Impulsive Kind, Crass Contempt, (TBA). All ages, $10
Sat. 6 p.m. "Bobby Mac N Cheese's belated mega Birthday Extravaganza" feat. Prevailer, Regressor, Another Vendetta, Buried Under Ruined Nations, Depreciator, Castor's Hollow. All ages, $10Candlelight Lounge
24 Passaic St. Trenton
Sat. 3 p.m. Victor North Tenor Sax Quartet (No cover-$10 minimum)Chickie's & Pete's
183 US Highway 130 North Bordentown
Tues. 8 p.m. Acoustic Music Night feat. The Dawgs
Wed. 9 p.m. Quizzo TriviaDempster's Pub
437 Pine Street Mount Holly
Thurs. 8:30 p.m. DJ DNIAL
Fri. 9 p.m. DJ ChrisDog & Bull Brew House
810 Bristol Pike (Rte. 13) Croydon, PA.
Thurs. 8 p.m. Mike Ghantt
Fri. (4 p.m.) "Happy Hour Jam" feat. Cecil Middleton
Sat. (11 a.m.) "Saturday Brunch Jam" feat. Jazz 180 (9 p.m.) Wizard Duo
Sun. (11 a.m.) "Sunday Brunch" feat. Joe Robinson Brunch Jam (3 p.m.) Soul Custody Trio
Wed. 8 p.m. Dustin BeckFran's Pub
116 S. Main St. New Hope, PA.
Sun. 6 p.m. The Mojo Gypsies
Mon. 8 p.m. Open Blues Jam
All shows 21+Havana New Hope
105 S. Main Street. New Hope, Pa.
Fri. 8 p.m. "John Mellencamp Tribute" w/ Human Wheels. Doors at 6 p.m., $15
Sat. 8:30 p.m. Bigg Romeo
Sun. 3 p.m. Ten Foot TallHopewell Valley Vineyards
46 Yard Avenue Pennington
Thurs. 6 p.m. "Thurs. Jazz" feat. McMillian and Company
Fri. 6 p.m. Piano, Bass and Jazz Playing Jazz
Sat. 6 p.m. Chris From Rave On
Sun. (2 p.m.) "Jazzy Sundays" feat. Sergio & Lars (6:30 p.m.) Vintner's Dinner. $29
Wed. 6 p.m. "Vine To Wine Course" $35Ivy Tavern
3108 S. Broad Street, Hamilton
Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Fri. 10 p.m. Blind Lemmon Pie
Sat. 10 p.m. El Ka Bong
All shows 21+John & Peter's
96 S. Main Street New Hope, Pa.
Thurs. 9 p.m. Jerry Fiess
Fri. 9 p.m. Ammunition, Fastride
Sat. (3 p.m.) Brian Dolzani (9 p.m.) Keith Kenny
Sun. 9 p.m. The Mayflys
Mon. 9 p.m. Open Mic. Night w/ Tim
Wed. 9:30 p.m. The Invitational
All shows 21+JoJo's Tavern
2677 Nottingham Way Hamilton
Sat. 10 p.m. Audio Pilot
Wed. 10 p.m. KaraokeMcStews Irish Sports Pub
5316 New Falls Rd Levittown, PA
Thurs. 10:30 p.m. "Beer Pong" w/ DJ Codie
Fri. 10 p.m. Fish Out Of water
Sat. 10 p.m. "Saturday Night Party" w/ Dueling DJs
Tues. 7 p.m. Quizzo hosted by MikeMillhill Basement
300 S. Broad Street Trenton
Fri. 9 p.m. "Comedy Night" feat. David heti, Stephen Spinola, Shawn Stenhouse, Scott Andrew Carter
Sat. 9 p.m. Jersey fresh, Sensi Star Takeover w/ Slaughter Rico, Pizzo, Eloh Kush, Ghetto MC, JO The Last ManMill Hill Playhouse/Passage Theatre
205 E. Front Street, Trenton
Sat. 3 p.m. Dancespora: "The Glistening"O'Connor's American Bar & Grille
1383 Monmouth Road, Easthampton Mt. Holly
Fri. 9:30 p.m. Dave Murray Duo
Sat. 9:30 p.m. Acoustic Ten Foot TallOlde Liberty Tavern
2114 Liberty Street, Trenton
Sat. 10 p.m. Open Mic. NightPalermo's Of Hamilton
310 Klockner Rd. Hamilton
Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke
All shows 21+ Patriot's Crossing
1339 River Rd. Titusville
Fri. 8 p.m. Kevin Toft & The All Stars
Sat. 8 p.m. Blues In DisguisePete's Steak House
523 Whitehorse Ave. Hamilton
Fri. 9:30 p.m. Ernie White & Tom Reock
Sat. 9:30 p.m. The Polish NanniesRandy Now's Man Cave
134 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
Check Website for upcoming events. RHO Waterfront
50 Riverview Plaza Trenton
Thurs. 10 p.m. "College Night" w/ DJ Bob E Luv. Ages 21+
Sat. 10 p.m. "Minks and High Heels dance Party!" w/ DJ William H. Ages Ladies 21+/Men 25+, Dress to Impress, $25 (advance)Sportsmen's Pub
819 Lalor Street, Hamilton
Sat. 9 p.m. Einstein BridgeTara's Tavern
1 Cookstown-New Egypt Road, Wrightstown
Thurs. 9 p.m. Polish Nannies
Sat. 9 p.m. The Drunk MonkeysTavern On The Lake
101 Main St. Hightstown
Fri. 9 p.m. Pretty Baby
Sat. 9 p.m. Kickback
Wed. 8 p.m. Karaoke Night The Cool Cricket
216 4th Street Fieldsboro
Fri. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Sat. 9 p.m. Blind Lemmon PieThe HOB Tavern
146 Second Street
Sat. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Tues. 9 p.m. Open Mic. Night
Wed. 8:30 p.m.The Ivy Inn
248 Nassau St. Princeton
Thurs. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Ron
Fri. 10 p.m. Papa D'Lux & the Main Street Groove
Sat. 10 p.m. DJ Darius The First
Tues. 8 p.m. Quizzo w/ Bob E Luv
Wed. 10 p.m. "Wednesday Wheel Night Spin To Win Karaoke" w/ DJ Rockn RonThe Record Collector
358 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
Sat. 8 p.m. April Mae & The June Bugs / Russell Gulley. All ages, Doors at 7:30 p.m., $12 (advance)The Roost
181 Rte. 539 Cream Ridge
Fri. 9 p.m. Jon Savage and The Rockers
Sat. 9 p.m. Out Of The RedThe Sticky Wicket
2465 South Broad St. Hamilton
Fri. 9 p.m. Deep Release
Sat. 9 p.m. Money ShotsThe Sun National Bank Center
81 Hamilton Ave. Trenton
Check website for upcoming eventsTir Na Nog
1324 Hamilton Ave. Trenton
Fri. 9 p.m. Mass Folk Common
Sat. 9 p.m. Ziggy Isaacs
Tues. (7 p.m.) "Rock On Radio Happy Hour" hosted by Danny Coleman feat. Alright Alright (9 p.m.) Open Mic. hosted by Jerry Monk.
All shows 21+Trenton Buzz
702 Pine St. Trenton
Fri. 8 p.m. Live Band & Open Mic. Trenton Social
449 South Broad Street Trenton
Fri. 7 p.m. First Friday
Mon. 9 p.m. Monday Night Karaoke w/ Benny P
Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic. NightTriumph Brewing Company
(New Hope, Pa. Location)
400 Union Square New Hope, Pa.
Fri. 10 p.m. Great Big House. ($5 cover charge)
Sat. 10 p.m. RG3. ($5 cover charge)
Sun. 7 p.m. Open Jam Night (Sign ups 6:30 p.m. at hostess stand)
Tues. 9 p.m. Live Band Karaoke
All shows 21+Wildflowers Inn
2572 Pennington Rd. Pennington
Sat. 9 p.m. Acoustic Rock
All shows 21+
Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 7:000pm EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.
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