KM Radio - KM Radio
Record Label: None
Release Date: August 2008
I've always had mixed feelings about concept albums. The nerd in me has always loved arching, multi-album storylines and comic-book art (see: Coheed & Cambria) but it seems that artists get to wrapped up in their own story and tend to overindulge 95% of the time (see again: Coheed & Cambria). This is why it's so refreshing to me to find a concept album (even if it's just an EP) that gets a little crazy but still keeps its own feet on the ground.
So what exactly is the concept? Well, it's laid out in pretty much black and white. Some guy with major issues god-complex issues decides to create his own planet and become its god (now hold on just one second... this isn't an allegory for Earth, is it? Oh, Mr. Bent, you sly, sly fox). In "An Experiment That's Never Been Seen," God wonders how this will play out, and is almost whimsical towards his experiment. Vocally, "Stop Loving, Start Fighting" channels Forgive Durden, and lyrically as well. It switches perspectives to characterize man's irrational attraction to hatred and greed from man's perspective. "Resting on Day 7" puts to song the Bible story of Noah's Ark. Granted, KM Radio put a different spin on it than the Book of Genesis does, but whatever. "Rebuilding" is the best song out of the six on the EP, consisting of man coming to terms with its own mortality and weakness.
Vocally speaking, it's hard to miss Matt Bent's bro-rock influences. Not in a "Hey-man-wanna-go-to-a-frat-party-tonight-after-we-hit-up-the-tanning-booth" way, but more of an "I'd-rather-play-Jack-Johnson-covers-under-the-oak-tree-on-my-college-campus-than-play-frisbee-golf-with-my-visor-wearing-friends" way. For those of you who I lost, that's the good kind. As far as the songwriting goes, the band does a decent job penning clever, if not challenging lyrics and good pop tunes that stay relatively sugar-free. Band member/producer Ben Hemingway's shining moment comes in the form of the production on the record. For a low-budget recording, it's remarkable that production-wise, not only does KM Radio not suck, but it actually sounds good.
All in all, KM Radio is not perfect. Sometimes the lyrics are a little cliche, and sometimes the band applies itself too literally to the concept. But I would be lying to you if I didn't say that this was a good EP in its own right from an incredibly promising band.