Radio America immediately remind of you of that type of band that always flourishes in times when money’s tight, politics are cruel, and social anxiety has become the order of the day. The kind of band everyone and their little brother says you “have to see live” to believe. And no, while you don’t necessarily come to see Radio America to what’s most musically innovative, you come to see what’s artistically relevant. You come to see four young men howling about what’s happening in America right now. You come to see a musical group and their crowd ecstatically blur the line between performer and audience. You come to see conscientious songwriting cut with joyful abandon. You come to see punk rock aggression tempered by classic rock musical chops and parsed by indie rock thoughtfulness. So put them up in line with The Clash and The Replacements, the Pixies and Libertines, because they’re not just a band, they’re a 24-hour gang; and the Radio America machinery is powered in equal parts by guitars, ideals, poetry, and all-nighters. (Radio America is a place which is forever located somewhere in that world between the “night-of” and the “morning-after”).
As far as the group is concerned, the cast is the same as before: Jesse Reno is the bassplayer, the storyteller, and the stand-up comic; Robby Van Saders is the drummer, the conscience, and the turbo-diesel engine; Gabe Wilhelm is the unassuming guitar hero, the poet, and the white-boy blues-singer; and Tom Stuart howls the vocals and tackles the guitars, threading the line between rock frontman and P.T. Barnum. In other words, everything’s the same as ever, except that oh, they’ve gotten even better since you last heard.