Alive Naturalsound Records

Independent record label based in LA. Home to The Black Keys, Two Gallants, Buffalo Killers, Radio Moscow, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, Hacienda, John The Conqueror, Brian Olive, Black Diamond Heavies, Left Lane Cruiser, T-Model Ford, Thomas Function, Waves Of Fury, etc. More at

Friday, May 15, 2009

BRIAN OLIVE : Other Music exclusive advance download

BRIAN OLIVE self-titled debut is now available as an exclusive advance download from Other Music

This talented musician has served time in the Greenhornes and the Soledad Brothers, two underrated garage rock bands from Cincinnati, Ohio. Brian Olive's self-titled solo album is a pretty impressive self-produced affair that takes the trashy, rollicking, Brit invasion revivalist sound of his former groups and then injects a healthy dose of bluesy soul backbeats and N'awlins horns to the mix. There's also a nice haze of gentle acid-washed psychedelia to his production that reminds me of some fellow '60s revivalists across the pond, the (Band of) Bees. Tracks like "Echoing Light," "See Me Mariona" and "There Is Love" are great stoner, psych-pop nuggets while "Calling All Around" and "Ida Red" are letter perfect Beggars Banquet-styled blues rock, reminiscent of Olive's former bands. But it's songs like "Stealin" and "Jubilee Line" that seal the deal, impressive rollicking jaunts that benefit from his impressive horn arrangements and a propulsive foot stomping backbeat. A great, solid listen from start to finish, if you've been diggin' on the sounds of King Khan, Brian Jonestown Massacre or the aforementioned Bees, you'll definitely want to spend some time with this record. Tip!! - Duane Harriott


TRAINWRECK RIDERS new album "The Perch" is out now on CD and iTunes
The album is also available as a limited edition vinyl with bonus CD

RADIO MOSCOW - Disc Exchange

Ah, remember a day when rock and roll was in its prime and just plain sounded the way it should; a day when guitars weighed a ton, hair was long, and the amps had knobs that were as big as pie plates. This was a day when you could still hear the hiss of the 2 inch tape on albums and bands could venture to the heavy end of the spectrum and not scare off the good spirited masses who were merely looking for a new album to throw on the turntables, space out, and expand both their mind and musical pallets. Fortunately for us, there are still musicians out there who abide by these creeds of the late 60's and early 70's, and could easily be considered contemporaries of their heroes, keeping great rock and roll alive in a world in which the majority of popular music has gone to shit. Hailing from Ames, Iowa of all places, Radio Moscow is one of these bands that does things right, from playing through vintage gear and joining forces with Alive Records, a label that can do no wrong in my book. Their newest album out of the oven, Brain Cycles, is a step above their 2007 debut with a greater confidence in both song-writing and musicianship.
I might be beating a dead horse by comparing Radio Moscow to Hendrix, however there is no denying the obvious influence that this music has on this album, from the guitar leads, tones, and effect choices. At the same time, Brain Cycles reminds me a great deal of other behemoths from back in the day including Cream, Blue Cheer, and the Groundhogs. Front man and guitarist Parker Griggs comes from a school of thought in which fuzz and wah are kings and the guitars are loud. Its a good thing too, because this young man has massive chops and an ear for the way rock and roll songs should be written. Chalk another one up in Griggs' column for his percussive work on the album, playing all of the drum parts himself. This leads me to the question, what can't he play? No kidding, there are hundreds of artists out there that would kill to have drum sounds like this, part Mitch Mitchell, part Carmine Appice. On the low end of things, Zach Anderson's bass lines are prime, tasteful, and in the pocket, perfectly complementing the guitar and drum work at hand. Brain Cycles is all about the driving riffs and psychedelic swells that will make the brain swim, swirl with an Are You Experienced? production quality. In fact I would almost require it to ingest Brain Cycles via a great pair of headphones.
Let's raise our glasses once again to Alive Records for bringing another of this year's best to the listeners. And most definitely hats off to the Radio Moscow boys for tapping into something that was in or added to the water back in the days when rock and roll was all about throwing on the cans, lighting some incense, and freeing ones mind. - Andrew Bryan / DiscExchange


“Best Played Very HIGH.” This quote is found on the back cover of Radio Moscow’s new album Brain Cycles and compliments the mildly trippy, illustrated, album artwork fairly predictably. Inside is an image of no less than 21 vintage guitars stacked in front of a wall of equally vintage looking amps. Band leader, singer, guitarist, and drummer Parker Griggs is barely into his 20’s. I wonder how he has already acquired so much equipment. Who knows, but in addition to displaying the cultural signifiers of stoner rock, he’s also digested the history of psychedelic blues-rock and mastered producing fun and energetic originals in this style.
Obscure artists like the Groundhogs, Flower Travellin’ Band, and Peter Green are name-checked in the press release, but this stuff sounds tighter, craftier, and more bombastic than any of that stuff. More popular artists like Blue Cheer, Cream, and Hendrix are better touchstones for the sounds on Brain Cycles. Regardless, Griggs and bass-player Zach Anderson play in the classic power-trio, blues-rock style, and prove to be fairly versatile and playful players. Griggs’ guitar playing takes the spotlight and is magnificent, both in melody and sound. It screams, noodles, cries, and echoes all over the place. The guy’s got some serious skills, not just in his playing, but in getting the right sound out of his effects. The rhythm section is agile and loud throughout, laying a thunderous and propulsive bed, jerky and smooth in equal doses. Anderson’s bass flexes just the right amount of muscle, and follows the guitar, drums, or its own path in equal doses. Griggs’ drumming is capably aggressive and jazzy in the typical hard rock Ginger Rogers-aping style, which of course is a blast to listen to. The singing and lyrics are pretty typical and work more as a structural piece than as any sort of expression or communication. It’s typical blues fare, with ruminations about breaking down, holding on, not knowing, not understanding, and getting tired of shit, told from the first person.
It should be noted that none of these songs overstay their welcome and never really devolve into proggy grandeur. The album leads off with three pretty straight rockin’ songs. Although somewhat of a fixture of the style, there’s only one drum solo on the Brain Cycles and it arrives just as the proceedings start to edge into sameness on the fourth track, “No Good Woman”, so it’s a welcome change when it arrives. The next track is the title track and the only instrumental on the album. It continues the variety, starting with a race between the guitars and the rhythm section, segueing into a keyboard workout that stops the music in its tracks for a minute to admire something more feminine passing through, and finishes with a section of shape-shifting guitar work. This is followed by “250 Miles”, which breathes in more languid space before finishing with speed and volume. Two of the last three tracks also show some stretching out, as “Black Boot” and “City Lights” hearken further back into history for some delta blues. These tracks provide some jauntiness lacking at the beginning of the album and wish they’d have been split up for the sake of pacing. The final track rumbles in rambunctiously and burns out gloriously.
There’s plenty here for fans of both blues and psych, although it’s definitely more of a blues-rock record than a psychedelic record. After listening to Brain Cycles, I really look forward to the chance to see them play live. They get in, do their thing, and get out, without drawing things out. This stuff is straight-up homage, no doubt about it, and doesn’t claim to be anything but. It’s done lovably and quite adeptly, so just sit back, turn it up, and enjoy. - Greg Argo / DOA


Call it blues rock, call it psychedelic, call it hard-grooved stoner rock. Call it whatever the hell you want, as long as you just call it ROCK. Iowa-based Radio Moscow’s second album, Brain Cycles, crashed onto my horizon a couple of weeks ago and shows no indication of departing any time soon. Discovered by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, their sound bears unquestionable similarities. But whereas The Black Keys play a noisy, stripped-down two-man blues rock, Radio Moscow is something else entirely — the rebirth of the power trio.
Comprised of singer/songwriter/guitarist Parker Griggs, drummer Corey Berry and bassist Zach Anderson, Radio Moscow plays like Cream on steroids. It’s pounding, grooving, blissed-out rock, full of whammy bar and wah-wah. Their sound doesn’t call for ass-shaking — it demands it. What’s even better is they’re showing signs of evolving. Their first eponymous album was decent, if uneven. Their sophomore effort maintains the dirty, throwback-to-Marshall-Stack sound, but shows polish in their playing and songwriting.
Brain Cycles grabs the listener right from the get-go, with it’s brilliant opening track “I Just Don’t Know,” a squelching, fuzzy guitar riff running through it, full of crescendoing segments that are rock and roll glory. Right around the end of the first minute, there’s one of those great pauses, immediately followed by Griggs giving a “WOO!” signaling the song kicking into a higher gear. It’s filled with rolling basslines and glorious guitar solos.
It doesn’t really let up the gas, either. It’s not fast paced rock, but it’s undeniably heavy — the second track, “Broke Down,” proves that beautifully. Similarly, “250 Miles” is somewhere a drawn out, instrumental affair that emphasizes what feels like a five-minute guitar solo, replete with crashing cymbals and bass that’s good for humping. The eight minute-plus epic, “No Good Woman” is bluesy, stoner rock nirvana, complete with vocal effects, a kickin’ drum solo, and a filthy guitar. Think Zeppelin meets Cream meets Mastodon… or something like that.
However you want to spin it, whatever you want to label it, Radio Moscow rocks. No doubt, they’re a throwback to another age. But in many they also have a sound that has to appeal to any guitar rock fan of any era. The lyrics are good, but they’re merely the dressing. The sound is the near-perfect formula of guitar+bass+drums=rock. Don’t let it pass you by.
— TK / Pajiba


This second album is Radio Moscow really coming alive. If their 2007 self titled debut lacked that spark, then they more than made up for it here with Brain Cycles. This second album is right there in that spot that bands like Groundhogs or Cream took you to, those acid drenched stoner blues of Hendrix, Ten Years After or early Fleetwood Mac. No musical revolution going down here then, no, just righteous real deal old school psychedelic blue rock - sometimes, when things are done this well then that’s more than enough, revolutions aren’t always needed. - Organ magazine


When we first discovered Radio Moscow, we were all immediately floored by the guitar playing of Parker Griggs. For those unfamiliar with the story, Parker went to a Black Keys show and handed a demo to Dan Auerbach. Auerbach loved it and subsequently produced the Radio Moscow debut.

While their eponymous debut is excellent (#29 in the HearYa top 50 of 2007), it has a rough feel to it. Parker played most of the parts on the album himself and it came across as a one man project. In contrast, on Brain Cycles, Radio Moscow is a much more cohesive band. After listening to the album a few times, there are three things that really make this a more complete and balanced effort:

1. Parker’s vocals. On the first album, the vocals sometimes seemed as if they were just filling room between blistering guitar solos. Griggs is a guitar prodigy so it works, but on Brain Cycles, Parker is more confident as a front man and has some swagger.
2. The rhythm section is staggering. They move in lockstep with Parker while pulling off some of their own crazy shit. As I mentioned in my SXSW recap, Zach Anderson on bass has made tremendous strides and is every bit the equal to Parker.
3. On the debut, the songwriting was about showcasing Parker’s guitar work, which was fine by me. But Brain Cycles shows a more mature effort in his songwriting.

A couple of my favorites include "Broke Down" that has a Sabbath inspired riff and "No Good Woman," complete with 90 second drum solo by Parker (it actually kind of works).

Radio Moscow is growing up, but they don’t abandon their blues-psychedelic sound that is sure to fuel bong circles in smoky dorm rooms all over college campuses. - Woody /Hear Ya
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