Read Yellow - Radios Burn Faster (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Read Yellow

Radios Burn Faster (2004)


There's not much to the history of this band. None of them were in well known previous bands, this is not a solo project, there are no young prodigies here, no old guys, no international heroes, no rags-to-riches stories. They were simply a group of students at U of Massachusetts who met in 2001, formed a band and met the guy from Fenway records. It appears they have been working their asses off playing live, so if this is the first you're hearing of them (like me) it probably won't be the last.

The majority of tracks sound like something off Sparta's Wiretap Scars or a little more straightforward Pretty Girls Make Graves with a guy singing… but then again, a girl sings on here too. Bassist Michelle sings lead on three tracks, the best of those being the especially PGMG-ish "Static". Then some tracks sound like the Sex Pistols-"Fashion Fatale" is a simple four-chord fuzz-rocker with sang-spat lyrics over top. And then you've got "Spark City Sky", which starts out pretty standard and then all of a sudden ends like Sabbath. It makes a bit more sense when it leads into "Modern Phobias", a sudden flirtation with hardcore.

Starting with that sudden shift, the second half of the album seems to lose focus. Sure, they go back to their sound after that track, but then all of a sudden you got a different singer for two tracks (Michelle sings on two in a row, 8 and 9), and the songs also get longer… a it's bunch of little things. And it's not that I got anything against long songs, but they seem to dwell and go too long without lyrics, while not maintaining my interest instrumentally (I do however like the handclaps and solo drums in "Soleil"). The title track would have to be the standout in the second half, and like I said, Michelle's "Static" has its moments, but the album still loses momentum.

Read Yellow will likely be popping up more and more. They are getting their name out there by sharing the stage with some big name acts like …Trail of Dead, Thursday and The Distillers, and they are currently on tour with Dillinger Escape Plan and Planes Mistaken for Stars. Radios Burn Faster is a decent full length debut for the band, and once they cut out the within-song musical filler and stick to what works, we just may have a band worthy of national attention.