Roll Over Radio “Glass Feet: A Roll Over Radio Production” Review
Roll Over Radio, fronted by Elliot Street Lunatic drummer CJ Kjolhede, released “Glass Feet: A Roll Over Radio Production” in Summer of 2009. The lineup featured here is Kjolhede, Jason Marr (bass/backup vocals), Bobby Halick (drums/ back up vocals) and Adam Whitt (trumpet). Second guitarist Jon Mickelson joined the band after these recordings.
First, if you are familiar with Elliot Street Lunatic’s material then you might be in for quite the surprise. Most obviously, frontman CJ Kjolhede’s voice is totally different than Marr’s frontman voice in Elliot Street Lunatic. Kjolhede’s is warbly and dissonant yet soulful and bluesy. His voice adds a lot to the atmospheric qualities of songs like “Smile to Yourself”. Although I can’t really pick a standout vocal performance on the album, I really like his voice and think it adds to the distinctiveness of the band.
Speaking of distinctiveness, the production (by bassist Marr) is spectacular. One of the standout techniques used is turning parts backward, like the acoustic guitars on Colorado Mushroom Company. The trumpet and drums sound warm and add texture to the songs. Halick’s drumming is spot on and has a pulsating, driving and colorful mystique about it. Marr’s production on the electric guitars adds an almost indie-punk choppiness to them; dissonant and off putting at times such as on “Antibiotic”.
Lyrically, Kjolhede sings with an assured, and almost (at times) depressed, demeanor lines like “Everything is red/I’ve not panicked” from Smile To Yourself. Following these lines is an impassioned harmonica bit. No doubt, the blues is definitely an influence here. The following song, Roll Over Radio Part 1, invokes the bands namesake. “I feel like shit but they don’t understand/Tomorrow I’m a new man/Roll Over Radio”. Contrasted with the happier chords and warm trumpets, the lyrics have a complex meaning. Although, I’m not really sure what the phrase “Roll Over Radio” means in the context of the lyrics and album as a whole. Maybe it means something and maybe it doesn’t. (I bet I would figure it would after a few more listens…)
If you want to check out a band that, in my opinion, is one of the underrated gems in Lansing please visit http://rolloverradio.bandcamp.com/