...It's difficult not to find the noise a little distracting.
Al Spicer 2008
State Radio, if they ever make it really big, might set the US establishment to quaking in its boots, but leftie/liberal bands like this usually die on their backsides at home in the States, and their awesome total dedication levels come across as bogus when shipped overseas. Year Of The Crow puts them on the barricades (and touring) with older, more grizzled revolutionary compatriots Anti-Flag, but they're unlikely to progress beyond the ranks of well-meaning cannon fodder with their current strategy.
Taking on the entire history of the evils of American imperialism in one single album was always going to be a monumental task, despite the eerie vocals, genuinely frightening drums and lashings of feedback the band employs. The tunes are fine; crammed with touches of elegant musicianship, and they proudly wear the band's political heart, blood-red and pounding with passion, on their sleeves, but it just doesn't work. Spoilt for a choice of targets, they try to hit too many at once, and the impact goes to waste
The lyric sheet helps, but State Radio attempt to put their arguments across whilst simultaneously beating their fans round the ear with rhythm changes, sudden pauses and switching from deafening rock to unplugged semi-folkiness. At the end, it feels as if you've sat through an hour of Marxist Political Science 101 while trying to watch a stock-car destruction derby - very exciting but it's difficult not to find the noise a little distracting. Hard rock like this is better suited to dumb sloganeering than to the dense and intricate lyrics that State Radio enjoy.