RadioKing Album Review
The Timeless Touch
RadioKing Album Review
by D’Monic Boris Lee
There have been many times when I wonder why some artists are not getting more attention, or perhaps off to greener pastures with their creativity than they are. When I wondered about the Los Angeles local music scene, I came across incredible talents who had more to offer than many of the mainstream recording label artists we hear played into the ground by corporate radio. The same can be said for New York, Texas, Oregon, and just about anywhere I have lived or found myself involved in music. Generally, local band musicians have lives to live that require more stability than what is offered chasing note strummed dreams throughout the land. I can relate to that, for without stability, things can falter fast. We no longer live in a time of great financial success from creative outlets, and in trade for that, we have more control over our creations. Many of the musicians I know share a sentiment of, “I get to play music and live life doing my 9-5, going home to my family and I’m happy.” So, my wondering why more artists are not getting more attention theory realized that some artists are happy with what they have, and a simple heartfelt sentiment about their work goes far. (I know some of you are saying fuck that, gimme my $paper$…..)
That all said, I still get music sent to me that brings up my question of, “Why are they not all over the radio and playing festivals to some degree or another?” Case in point is RadioKing, who released their album Redemption this past summer. Redemption is a long overdue culmination of creative genius, born in the early 2000s.
RadioKing was formed by guitarist Jimmy Adcock (Nytrate, The Texas Surfers), guitarist Mark Stroface, bassist John Cruz (Nytrate), drummer Scott Crawford, and vocalist Alex Collins, out of Texas in the early 2000s. Because of circumstances, the band could not capitalize on their creative unity back then, but have the chance to do so now.
Upon my first listening of the RadioKing record, I was blown away by how solid the songs are, combining genre versatility with radio worthy riffs and lyrics. The music on this album can stand strong in the early 2000s and hold the same strength in today’s music market. The songs have a timeless touch to them.
RadioKing kicks things off with “Turn Away,” a song that brings Shinedown style vocals with Black Label Society style guitars, creating a “Nu-Metal” tone ready to ram through big-country pickup truck speakers everywhere.
“Touch the Sun” takes up the second position on the riff run of modern music Magick. A great cruising tune to put the top down to and drive through the Texas heat or catch curves along any highway coast too, guitarist Jimmy Adcock and vocalist Alex Collins have consistent chemistry throughout the song.
“Used” comes up next, getting the bar and saloon dance floors packed with women (and guys) ready to raise horns and snap heads to, as does the follow up tune, “Smoke.”
Country kicks into the groove next with “Sugarcoat.” Alex’s vocal performance is passionate, and lyrically, the song is the epitome of emotional connection to the daily heart we all beat at one time or another.
Jump on the hog, kick the crank, shoot on down the highway, and say “Goodbye,” to what ails you, because this song fills the prescription for motivation to move onto more music with listener connection and say “Goodbye,” to low feelings and hello to great vibes of motivation with this track. Jimmy Adcock keeps his guitar riffage simple and powerful here, as Alex. Mark, John and Scott all do their part to balance out the tunes tidal wave of tonality. It’s a breakup tune that keeps your eyes dry enough to enjoy the music, rather than hang your head in heartache.
Change things up is what RadioKing did with the track “Change.” A beautiful guitar ballad is how the song starts, with tempo changes to heavier riffs and vibes throughout the song, making this arguably the strongest song on the album.
Dodging the darker tone of “Death Dodger,” is as impossible as dodging death when he comes knocking on your door. Presenting the heaviest riff on the album from Jimmy, and tempo changes in marriage with a more haunting vocal approach from Alex, this track brings out the best from all members of RadioKing, landing in as arguably another contender for strongest song on the album.
Getting back to genre versatility, RadioKing goes back to more of a country creation with “Color Fades to Gray,” slowing things down enough for listeners to catch their breath before the finale of the record.
Follow the musical march to the finish line of RadioKing killer creations, and “Follow Me,” to what is the earliest trace of Jimmy’s band, Nytrate. Those who are familiar with Nytrate will notice the striking familiarity between “Follow Me,” by RadioKing and “Judgement Day,” by Nytrate. That’s because they are essentially the same guitar riff and song overall. Alex presents one version of the song with his lyrical and vocal approach in RadioKing, and Alli Clay brings her vocal approach and lyrics to the Nytrate song, “Judgement Day.” Both songs have equal “Kick Assery” in their musical manifestation. Like having twins, but with songs instead of kids.
I sat on this reusing of the riff by Jimmy in both bands, and quickly thought about how bands have had alternate versions of their songs appear throughout time, making each song good, but not exactly the song you first heard or are used to. Like Black Sabbath; “War Pigs,” originally being “Walpurgis,” KISS and “Strutter,” and Soundgarden’s version of the Sabbath classic, “Into The Void.” The song is the Sabbath riff with a totally different lyrical layout, giving the song its own heart. Thus, when I heard a known riff by Jimmy on the RadioKing record, I felt like I traveled to the time when Jimmy created the riff, hearing it in its first incarnation.
There is nothing I can say about Redemption by RadioKing that can be declared a red mark. The album is “All Killer No Filler,” with each song having its own ability to standalone as a single hit among today’s top tunes, or the tunes of the early 2000s. Jimmy, Mark, John, Scott, and Alex come together complimenting and showcasing each other from the opening note struck to the ending chord on the album. Any of the songs on this album fit right into a playlist with Shinedown, Pop Evil, Slipknot, Deep Purple, and more.
I give Redemption 5 out of 5 raised horns. It’s a solid showing of music that surprised me at how strong its creative heart beats after all these years.
To learn more about RadioKing, you can find them at the links below.
From the Author:
Over the past 2 1/2 years, Symptom of the Metalverse has been my outlet for spotlighting music and its creators. From the first album review to this article here, I have had a great time listening to music new and old, and connecting with the artists behind the work. Alison has been nothing short of the kindest soul I have met in the music scene, and one of the kindest-hearted people I have met in my life. The opportunities brought to me from her, the support in my writing and other creativity, Alison has been somebody who kept me in a good place during some bad times.
That said, it is with a heavy heart that I am moving on from Symptom of the Metalverse. Life has another calling for me, and there are certain changes taking place in my personal life that need my attention before I have time to write about music. Is this the end of Symptom of the Metalverse? For now it is, but Alison has left the door open for me to come back, so perhaps one day I will step through that door, hair down, horns raised, and ready to write about the music YOU create next.
Until then, thank you all for reading. It has been a great smash through the pit!
Horn Raised Regards,
D’Monic Boris Lee