Tuesday, December 11, 2007

State Radio

State Radio
Year Of The Crow

Personally, I'm not a big fan of musicians with political agendas. By that, I mean music that ONLY has the agenda of convincing you to conform to their way of thinking. Now, I didn't say I was against artists expressing themselves and their worldview through songs. How could you not help but do that through art? I'm talking about artists that are more concerned with politics than making good art. Before I'm misunderstood, let me clarify some things. It's nice to see when artists use their inflated bank accounts to help others instead of blowing it on crystal meth and bling-bling. Let's face it though. Sometimes, mixing politics and art could be career suicide.

There are a few socially conscious artists that stand out though. I think of artists like Rage Against The Machine or Bono from U2. Even if you don't agree with their political stances, they grab your attention with songs that combine great sounds along with passion for what they're singing about. Another one I can add to that list is State Radio. On their new album Year Of The Crow, State Radio combines the political awareness of RATM with the ska/punk sound of Sublime. Coming from Massachusettes, they create an album full of raw sounds led by a singer who sings straight-up ragamuffin style. With song titles such as Guantanamo, CIA, and Sudan, I think it's self explanatory that current social issues are on their mind. Personally, I love reggae, ska, and punk. And to find a band that can mesh all three styles and have depth in their lyrics is rare. As far as agendas go, I think Chad Stokes from the band summed it up well:

“The ultimate goal of State Radio is to have people consider what I’m saying as they enjoy the music we create. I’m not looking to alienate anyone, but I hope I can enlighten some people.”

And that's echoed loud and clear on Year Of The Crow.

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