Radio Berlin CD review [Action Driver]

Music Reviews
Radio Berlin CD review [Action Driver]
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Sep 23, 2003, 03:26

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RADIO BERLIN Glass CD

As generic band names go, Radio Berlin has to be one of the most pedestrian “retro-futurist” monikers ever. But, at least you could guess that the band's songs would sound somewhat post-punky and/or synthy New Wave by name alone. If that doesn't help, the chilly alienation of modern life is amply depicted on the cover art, replete with angular haircuts to emphasize the existential absurdity brought about by, I dunno, all the machines and computers that have stolen our souls…or something like that. Gang of Four circa Solid Gold-era would be proud to hear its delay-drenched guitars and sapped funk being put to use under today's totalitarian rule. Likewise would Low and Heroes-era David Bowie be excited to step forward in a time machine to 2003 and hear his very own synth sounds and disaffected crooning so effectively replicated. Radio Berlin does its schtick well, but it's just too heavy-handed and obvious in its influence to appreciate on its own merit. Remember folks, post-punk—especially PIL and Gang of Four—sounded so unique and fresh because it was all about disposing of prior rock orthodoxy. Radio Berlin, then, might as well be a cheesy bar cover band. [Action Driver]

-Dave Clifford

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