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Beat Radio - 'Hard Times, Go!'

by DonMcKinlay
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on 04 March 2013 in Albums & EPs
Record Label Awkward For Life
Rating 6/10

Beat Radio are perhaps an example of the New. This, their (I say “their” but it mainly seems to be Brian Sendrowitz) fourth album, was funded through Kickstarter. Donate $350 and Beat Radio would play at your house (if your house was within 100 miles of Bellmore NY). Now it’s all done, you can download the album and buy the merchandise from bandcamp. No record label involvement, all self produced even down to the artwork, music is now the hobby that just keeps on giving. Because 'hobby' is what this is, fitted in around jobs and family life rather than the old fashioned all-consuming sold-my-soul-to-rock’n’roll approach. So does that make it any less meaningful? Can cutting edge music only be made if everything is on the line? That question will have to remain unanswered. This is pleasant, if fairly unassuming, alt-rock. Think Sparklehorse at their most melodic. By turns fuzzy and shimmering, sometimes woozy and frequently dreamy, this is reassuringly lo-fi but crafted with love. Slightly disturbingly, I have to point out that much of the feel of Hard Times, Go! reminds me of Owl City, which I’m pretty sure isn’t a reference point that will sit comfortably with Mr Sendrowitz.

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