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Radio Moscow is a psychedelic rock trio currently based out of San Diego. The band formed in 2003 and is influenced by classic rock power trios such as Hendrix and the Experience, Cream, and Blue Cheer. Initially the group started out as a personal project of singer/guitarist Parker Griggs. Griggs is a multi-instrumentalist and recorded the first three albums on his own, playing every instrument on the record. However, in 2013, Griggs finally found a rhythm section that clicked with his style and Paul Marrone (drums) and Anthony Meier (bass) were added as full-time members. Fast forward, two years later and the band’s creative energy and chemistry has hit a new peak and they have unveiled this on their latest live disc Live! In California.
Live! In California captures a couple performances recorded last winter during a residency at the Satellite Club in Los Angeles. The album kicks off with high adrenaline starting with the song “I Just Don’t Know.” This a solid track, but the set really heats up when the band plays “250 Miles/Brain Cycles.” These are the best live renditions of the two songs – on “Brain Cycles,” the group ventures into the musical stratosphere and rocket to the next level. It’s the most trippy and experimental version of the song and much different from the studio version, which is highly pleasing itself.
From there, the album only gets better. On “Before It Burns,” bassist Anthony Meier goes into a hypnotic Third Stone From the Sun like vamp and Parker Griggs shreds it up with some exotic modal scales. “Deep Blue Sea” showcases some of Griggs’ bluesy leads and this is probably the most authentic blues he’s played on record. In general, the album is full of Griggs’ guitar histrionics and his leads continue to climb and soar until finally hitting a euphoric climax on the song “No Good Woman.” This track is performed closer to the end of the set and is the best number on the album. Marrone pounds out a nasty drum solo in the vein of Peter Criss and Griggs finishes off the tune with a super-epic and echoed-out guitar solo. Griggs is truly one of the most underrated and unsung guitar heroes of the 2010s.
Overall, Live! In California is an excellent document of how Radio Moscow sounds live and captures the band at their artistic peak. The album clocks in at 76 minutes and the group keeps listeners on the edge of their seats and wanting more for the duration. It’s an energetic and dynamic album that’s sure to please psychedelic rock fans worldwide.