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coverpic flag Canada - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 8 - 06/20/97

Listen Closer

Radioblaster are a young, energetic trio from Missasauga Ontario. Their first album, Sugar Shock, was released in 1995 and became an indie favorite over the following two years. Despite the commonplace influences they sight (Teenage Fanclub, Smashing Pumpkins, Superchunk) they have their own unique sound. They are the fuzzyest band i know of. The new Radioblaster album, Listen Closer, is not that much different from Sugar Shock. Both albums have the same producer/mixer (Rob Sanzo) and both albums have similar patterns, similar songs etc. One of the more noticeable differences is the use of different instrumentation on Listen Closer. The addition of piano, strings, shakers and extra guitars on some of the tracks is very noticeable. It helps give the record a bit more audible variety as a whole.

The most important difference that i could hear however, is a lyrical one. The lyrical theme of sugar shock seemed focused on difficulty with relationships, (why you sweatin me?, no punchbacks) and fitting in. While this theme is still strong in listen closer, it has a slightly darker and more painful twist to it. Sugar Shock is a very up-beat album but in Listen Closer the relationships are more complex, and more internal, (over it, still inside) as opposed to the less-emphasized issues in Sugar Shock. This tends to have the subtle affect of dampening the happiness of the album. Although this is difficult to get used to at first, it is done extremely effectively and if you listen to this album without expectations of jolly-ness you can easily come to appreciate it. The songs are passionate, simple, fun and beautiful.

Copyright © 1997 Laura Bowman e-mail address

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