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Go Radio - Close The Distance Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 9
Musicianship 9
Lyrics 9
Production 9
Creativity 9
Lasting Value 9
Reviewer Tilt 9
Final Verdict: 90%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9.72
Musicianship 9.56
Lyrics 9.91
Production 9.53
Creativity 9.25
Lasting Value 9.66
Reviewer Tilt 9.84
Average: 96%
Inside AP.net

Go Radio - Close The Distance

Reviewed by: Ryan Gardner (09/05/12)
Go RadioClose The Distance
Record Label: Fearless Records
Release Date: September 18, 2012


Since leaving Lucky Street two years ago, Go Radio have been in more cities and states than imaginable. Oddly enough, however, being away for so long has resulted in the creation of the record Jason Lancaster was born to write: Close The Distance. This is the record that defines Go Radio as a band deserving of stardom. This is an album that I want to hear on every movie soundtrack this fall.

Whereas Lucky Street was a perfect balance of gritty pop-punk (tracks like "Kill The Beast” and “Any Other Heart”) and mid-tempo rockers (“Hold On” and “Why I’m Home”), Close The Distance eliminates the gap between the two, going down a road that is solely mid-tempo pop-rock. Don’t expect palm mutes or gang vocals here; rather, Go Radio pack a punch in each chorus, relying on anticipation to increase the power of every hook.

While “Lucky Street” hit the road with a wailing siren and an image of the Atlantic Ocean swelling in New York, “I Won’t Lie” is humbly a love song. Note after note, the opener is Go Radio’s “Use Somebody” – it uses straightforwardness to be endearing: “I wanna see the hope / I wanna feel the love / I wanna hear what you say when I say / That I won’t lie.” Sure, the chorus is simple, but there’s a thirst for hope throughout the chorus that echoes throughout the album, making “I Won’t Lie” the perfect opener.

Throughout the record, Lancaster paints picture after picture of finding hope and love in distant, new places, making certain the sun-soaked melodies shine throughout the nearing Fall season. There’s a sense of longing to be with someone you love throughout the record that illuminates every melody (look no further than the heart wrenching ballad “What If You Don’t”). The need to cherish every moment before the inevitable leave hits the mark on every song. For starters, the buildup on “Baltimore,” courtesy of swelling violin strings, gives a first taste of this imagery Lancaster embeds throughout the record:

I turned off the radio so that I could hear you breathe
And I could watch you sleep
And maybe in your dreams there could be me
So everybody turn down the lights
And forget the fact we're here the night and
Tomorrow I'm leaving
'Cause tomorrow don't mean anything tonight

Such storytelling songwriting on Close The Distance is unmatched by anything Lancaster has ever penned – and I mean ever. Images of departing and leaving behind loved ones resonate in every lyric, while each track grows and builds around the chorus. “Lost And Found” proves the perfect example of this. There’s a sense of anticipation brooding within the track as it starts – you’re immediately conscious that the song will not stay mellow, as the opening notes suggest – and then it takes off like a long-awaited flight when Lancaster croons, “I got scared / Can't seem to find it either here or there / Did I lose my rhythm now / Am I lost? Am I found?” Tepid guitar strums, drum taps as soft as falling rain, and the icing-on-the-cake piano keys make certain that Lancaster’s words have the spotlight, with the backing “oh-oh-oh’s” adding a few lovely palm trees to sun-soaked tunes.

Title track “Close The Distance” acts as a wonderful pair to “Lost And Found,” once again applying Go Radio’s “wait for the chorus” mentality. The initial image is one of finding hope: “I found hope / In the back of a closet / Written by a child's hand / On pieces of parchment / Yellowed and old / I've never seen / That kind of belief.” The idea of discovering positivity rises like the sun on a new morning – everything is fresh and youthful again. There’s a welcoming sense of comfort escalating throughout the track, with the images of chasing passion giving us a spark of confidence:

Run
Like it's time that's chasing us
Like you will never find enough
Like you forgot the words "give up"
And live to close the distance

While lyrically Lancaster shines throughout the record, what may be the best example of the band’s musicianship comes on single “Go To Hell.” The song starts steadily – just Lancaster and a piano – and could easily have taken the ballad path. And then, like the sonorous nature of an unexpected firework going off in front of you, the tempo changes in the blink of an eye as the gritty guitars and incensed keys make certain Lancaster’s punishing words stick. The animosity doesn’t come conventionally – Go Radio know they don’t need to rely on palm mutes, screams, or double bass drumming to show how pissed off they are. Rather, the employment of a sudden change in tempo and vicious piano does the trick just fine for them, conveying exactly how much their songwriting has grown as a band.

Alex Reed’s cadenced guitar and Steven Kopacz’s foot-tapping drumming ignite the chorus of “Things I Don’t’ See” delightfully, resulting in what may be the best song Go Radio have ever written. The way Lancaster sings the chorus adds competence to the track, with the stressing of “you” and “true” giving the track its endearing, warming undertow:

And if you wait a little a longer
I'll meet you there come June
At the corner of Girard
And it's true it gets a little colder
When you're not here
Cause I am gonna miss you baby tonight

As “Hear Me Out” parallels the beloved “Goodnight Moon” to fully Close The Distance, there’s a sense of finding hope within darkness that personifies the very nature of these songs. We’ve all felt alone and without hope at times. If you’ve ever left home and ended up in a new place where you have yet to find your footing, this is the album that will define your year. Starting college with this album, I’m undoubtedly aware that this is the record that will define this fall and my entire year. Lancaster’s words create such a swelling imagery of finding comfort when leaving familiarity for uncertainty – there’s hope out there. Years go by and times change, but hope always remains somewhere inside. That fact alone is one that will keep Close The Distance in your stereo for seasons to come.

Watching as the leaves fall down
The colors where we use to run and play
Another year's flown by I fear,
It seems to be to soon the seasons change
The pictures on the wall my dear the holy ghost himself can't make appear
But I believe that you're with me,
And you complete my heartbeat
Still


9/10

Recommended If You LikeThe Dangerous Summer’s Reach For The Sun; Jack’s Mannequin’s Everything In Transit; The Starting Line’s Direction; Transit’s Listen & Forgive

Additional InformationTrack Listing:
1. I Won’t Like
2. Baltimore
3. Collide
4. Go To Hell
5. Lost And Found
6. Close The Distance
7. What If You Don’t
8. Things I Don’t See
9. The Ending
10. Over Me
11. Hear Me Out

Go Radio are:
Jason Lancaster – Vocals, Guitar
Alex Reed – Guitar, Vocals
Matt “Burns” Poulos – Bass, Vocals
Steven Kopacz – Drums

Website
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 239.
09:09 PM on 09/05/12
#2
jaredohgren
I'm just an artist on a shelf.
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I love all those albums in the Rec so holy shit
09:21 PM on 09/05/12
#3
scooterf
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Well then. I listened to Lucky Street and found it to be kind of forgettable. I see the contrast you pointed out between the two, but do you think this is something that I should check out despite thinking Lucky Street was just okay? Or is it similar enough that I may just not be a fan of the band in general? I love everything about that RIYL though, wow.
09:27 PM on 09/05/12
#4
sammyboy516
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I love all those albums in the Rec so holy shit
This. The RIYL's made me SO excited to hear this.
09:32 PM on 09/05/12
#5
Ryan Gardner
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Well then. I listened to Lucky Street and found it to be kind of forgettable. I see the contrast you pointed out between the two, but do you think this is something that I should check out despite thinking Lucky Street was just okay? Or is it similar enough that I may just not be a fan of the band in general? I love everything about that RIYL though, wow.
No matter what you felt about Lucky Street, you should definitely check this out - it's on an entirely different level. Much more cohesive and together on the whole.
09:32 PM on 09/05/12
#6
mike_aaron
carpartyband.com
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DAMN. Words cannot describe how excited I am for this album.
09:34 PM on 09/05/12
#7
PengusNiugnep
I slept right through the good part
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This needs to just come out already. Incredible review.
09:36 PM on 09/05/12
#8
mike_aaron
carpartyband.com
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I just read this review twice. Very well written. Nicely done, Ryan.
09:42 PM on 09/05/12
#9
loj
i'm not there and you're not here.
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reallll excited.

edit: terrific review, btw.
09:45 PM on 09/05/12
clove2873
Southern Air saved my life
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Anticiperection
09:53 PM on 09/05/12
vivatoto56
Nice Try, The Devil
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Awesome review.
10:07 PM on 09/05/12
Searos
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Fall is going to have some great music to jam out to. A lot of alt rock and pop rock.
10:15 PM on 09/05/12
tossit
Gather round children zip it listen
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Sheeeiiit....that RIYL is awesome. The review as well...interested in listening this now.
10:16 PM on 09/05/12
Archael
listens to good music
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The singles for this were crap. I'm hoping this one doesn't suck.
10:20 PM on 09/05/12
Archael
listens to good music
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Also, that RIYL is not very interesting considering how those are already overly popular albums and could be applied to numerous bands, especially on this site.

Nice review, though. Really long, nice review.
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