I got an e-mail from Masters of the Radio a few weeks back asking me to check out their album (here’s proof positive that I check out those artist submissions). I never know what to expect when I start a submitted album or single…I’ve gotten alt-metal from Italy, some grunge inspired rock from here in the States, and some pretty awful, off-tempo rap. In those instances I wonder if these people actually know what kind of website I’m running here, haha! Then, there are instances like popping on The Power Beyond by Masters of the Radio. I wasn’t even a third of the way through the album before I bought the album and shot them an e-mail back letting them know they’d be getting a feature article. Ready to find out why?
As a child of the 80’s, there are styles of music that just connect with me on a personal level. Synthpop and new wave are two of those types of music that just get me going (and why I do what I do here at Echosynthetic). Unfortunately there aren’t very many bands that are committed to those sounds. Sure, you’ve got the standards…Depeche Mode, OMD, Pet Shop Boys, etc. still putting out great music, but I want NEW bands doing this stuff. Like an answer to my unspoken wish, Masters of the Radio delivered. The Power Beyond isn’t an album playing at trying to re-invent the stylings of the past…this is pure, unadulterated synthpop goodness.
From Erasure to The Human League, Ultravox to ABC, and Camouflage to Depeche Mode, synthpop is a well charted genre. How Masters of the Radio were able to carve out a sound that manages to be uniquely theirs is a nod to the creativity behind this outfit. Right from the beginning, Entertain My Soul had me hooked. That bassline, the vocals, the perfectly placed keys, and precise drum work could not be denied. Then you start trying to figure out what the singles on the album might be (this is a game I enjoy playing). Radio Forever, with its upbeat tempo and sing-a-long chorus? Into the Fury, and its piano work mixed with a slower but still dance-worthy hook? Wings, with its synths playing their way across a stead bass line? Truth is, every track is single-worthy. Mix in some really great musical interludes (The Synthesizer…I’m looking squarely at you and your dance club beat!) and you’ve got what has turned out to be one of the best synthpop releases in quite some time. If I absolutely had to pick a favorite track it would be The Last Feeling. It’s really a perfect blend of the whole album.
The Power Beyond by Masters of the Radio is available right now at Bandcamp, and if you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m going to tell you to go pick this up, post haste. If you’re a synthpop fan in any way, there’s really no question here. It’s a must own record and I’m thrilled to find out where they’re going from here.