Today, my six-year-old son learned to ride his pushbike without stabilisers. His excitement and positive vibe is mirrored in this release from Radio Exile. This is so positive, it crackles with 1000 watts of power and makes you wish for the long balmy days of summer.
Disappointed by Jerry Gaskill‘s latest solo (somewhat tame) effort? Yearn for a big ol’ hard rocking soul blast? This could be the cure to the disease. Radio Exile rocks and souls like a modern day Funkenstein fusion of King’s X, Thunder and Crown of Thorns with a side order of prime Bon Jovi. Like some insane cocktail of Red Bull and Mountain Dew, it is a speedball of sweaty sweetness.
The stellar cast is made up of Chandler Mogel (Lead and Backing Vocals), Charlie Calv (Piano, Keyboards), Jimmy Leahey (Guitars, Backing Vocals), Kenny Aaronson (Bass) and Dave Anthony (Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals). The band just oozes class and the X-Factor has to be the vocals of Mogel, who could easily be the next Steve Perry or Doug Pinnick.
This treasure trove of tracks opens up with the cool vocals of “High Road, High Price“, setting up for a hard rocking slice of Americana. You could imagine driving with the top down and the blue sky overhead when listening to this gem. It brings to mind Tough It Out-era FM with a dash of the chugging guitar of Bon Jovi‘s “Living on a Prayer” (albeit with better vocals). The Bon Jovi comparisons may seem odd at first, but the feeling of the record is quite a bit like Slippery When Wet. It isn’t the songs, which are superior to Bon Jovi‘s effort, it is just the swagger of experience with some unearthly enthusiasm that makes it feel like Slippery When Wet.
What I love about this record is the hat full of Soul that fills every groove. The album is chocked full of Gospel backing vocals with blasting guitars and rock solid beats. Close your eyes, smell the petrol fumes, the late BBQ smoke and taste the cold beer. “Soulfire” showcases this glorious feel and is one of the standout cuts.
The single “No Pity on the Highway” shovels dirt under your fingernails. “Feels Like Home” sparks its own lighter to wave in the air and “Higher Than The Sun” takes a leaf out of Queen‘s book with its harmonies.
“Hold On” is another highlight, all chest-beating bravado, but with an authenticity that can’t be questioned.
Overall, this is an epic of classic rock that should be as successful as Slippery, Frontiers or any other mega-selling long players.
Heart and soul – got it in buckets bro’. Get yourself in at the start of a great adventure and tell ’em Decibel Geek sent you!