THE RADIO SUN – Beautiful Strange (2018)
Every year of our lives certain things are inevitable – birthdays, Christmas, taxes – you know what I mean, don’t you? Well the last four years have seen something else added to that list for me and many others …. THE RADIO SUN will release tomorrow a new album titled “Beautiful Strange” and they will appear at Hard Rock Hell and 2018 continues the theme.
Having already played at Hard Rock hell in March (along with a small but perfectly formed UK tour – with next year’s HRH AOR appearance already announced along with another tour of the UK lined up) the boys that bring the sunshine from Down Under reach August 2018 and a new album is about to be released into the world.
“Beautiful Strange” is their fifth (yes you read that right, fifth) since their debut in 2014. The most impressive feat that the four (fronted by the charismatic Jason Old on lead vocals, guitar slinger Stevie Janevski, bassist Anthony Wong & drummer Gilbert Annese) pull off is that each album develops their sound, the songwriting (which has always been killer) gets better and with “Beautiful Strange” they truly have nailed their purpose to the flagpole (if that metaphor even makes sense).
With opener “Hold On Tight” I was immediately hit by, of course, the vocals and harmonies which bring all of the best bits of melodic rock/AOR to mind but mostly by the guitar from Steve. It struck me that The Radio Sun had added a bit more grit to the sound through the guitar riffs and solos. A one-off? Nope … this continues throughout all of the album.
With all four members singing backing vocals, the boys delve into layered vocal harmonies reminiscent of the classics – Queen, The Sweet & Def Leppard. This is not to say that they don’t have their own sound. The Radio Sun have great unique hooks in their songs.
The new album is another progression for the band, with songs like ‘Hold On Tight’ and ‘Miss Wonderful’ grooving like never before. ‘As Long As You Want Me’ and ‘Five Years After’ are both melodic bliss, boosted by a great production by Paul Laine (solo, The Defiants) and mastering by Bruno Ravel (Danger Danger, The Defiants).
You get classic elements of The Radio Sun from their previous records – lots of sunshine, heaps of melody and a sense of summer. “Have You Got What It Takes”, “I Don’t Want To See You Cry” and “Hearts On Fire” are three personal favorites and the fact these are later in the running order shows just how great a bunch of songs the boys have put together for this one.
All strongs songs and there is something about The Radio Sun’s ballads that catch my heart and hold it. That said it is the uptempo ones that won me over four years ago and so it remains.
The Radio Sun have worked very hard to build up their following by touring all over the world in support of each and every release. Performances in Japan, Europe, United States, United Kingdom and their home country Australia has shown the band’s ability to rise.
The Radio Sun are the first band to ever play Hard Rock Hell AOR Fest U.K four times in a row, whilst also having played at Melodic Rock Fest on four different occasions.
This band is getting better and better.
01 – Hold on Tight
02 – Believe in Me
03 – Should Have Listened to My Heart
04 – As Long as You Want Me
05 – Out of This World
06 – Miss Wonderful
07 – Have You Got What It Takes
08 – I Don’t Want to See You Cry
09 – Hearts on Fire
10 – Beautiful Secret
11 – Five Years After
12 – Stand Tall United
Jason Old – Vocals
Stevie Janevski – Guitars
Anthony Wong – Bass
Gilbert Annese – Drums