State Radio
Us Against the Crown


4.0
excellent

Review

by dub sean USER (37 Reviews)
February 27th, 2007 | 7 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Chad Urmston took a big step forward with State Radio after splitting from Dispatch. He created his own rock/reggae sound and really shines on this amazing album. I definite listen for anyone who needs some good tunes.

Well, after Dispatch broke up, I figured that the three musicians who made it up were done with music. Luckily, they weren't.

Chad Urmston split from Braddigan and Pete and created State Radio. State Radio is:

Chad Stokes Urmston - Lead vocals/guitar

Chuck Fay - Backup vocals/bass

Mike "Mad Dog" Najarian - Drum kit/backup vocals

*Note..when Us Against the Crown was recorded, Brian Sayers was the drummer for State Radio.

Us Against the Crown is State Radio’s first full album, though they released a few EP’s from 2002 to 2005. In Us Against the Crown, Urmston’s reggae and funk roots show through the low-key rock numbers. The album begins with People to People. Throughout most of the song, you can hear RFK’s speech from after Martin Luther King was assassinated. This song is pretty slow with lots of reggae influence. I thought this was an amazing way to start the album, telling about the problems with society and government and all that. I love the song because it criticizes the government subliminally, without straight out saying, “F*** Bush,” like many bands today do. I think this song was a great way to open the album and prove that Urmston can write great music without the help of Braddigan or Pete.

Right after the slow People to People ends, Sayers begins Mr. Larkin with a little drum intro. Mr. Larkin is a fast-faced song, but a little too pop-sounding. The constant “ahhhh”s in the background as well as the keyboards makes for something that sounds like a pop-rock song on MTV. Still a catchy little song, nothing to complain about. The lyrics are interesting, and tell a story of a man whose wife is sick and dying. The song is also one of the shortest on the album, but again, I’m not complaining.

Camilo is the third track on Us Against the Crown. I would say this is State Radio at its best. Wow. This song is amazing. Camilo begins with a dark, acoustic guitar intro and Chad singing along. The drums and bass come in after the chorus, and the song begins to pick up pace. By the time this song has ended, you will no doubt be singing along. By the way, the song has a good point, too. I won’t bother telling the story, but you can learn about the song here:

http://stateradio.com/camilo.html

When Camilo ends, you thought you had heard the best song on the album. You are wrong. Right Me Up is my favorite song on Us Against the Crown, and is the reason I reviewed this album. This song is completely different from Camilo, but fits in perfectly with the rest of the album. Here is where Urmston’s reggae roots really shine through. This song is an optimistic, gentle rock/reggae tune. Right Me Up begins with Urmston singing "Why so many, why so many, why?" over and over again. It sounds great. When the drums and bass come in, Urmston begins singing about some guy named Manny’s life. The bridge in this song is amazing, and the chorus will blow your mind. I think it would be hard to find someone who does not like this song.

Black Cab Motorcade begins with Sayers playing a little drum fill over and over before the verses start. This song feels a lot like Mr. Larkin, in my opinion. It sounds very pop-rockish, but has a crazy chorus. I guarantee you will be singing the chorus by the end of this song. I think this is a pretty strong follow-up to the knock-out Right Me Up. Urmston’s vocals are once again a success, and near the end of the song, there seems to be a whole crowd singing along with him.

Dispatch fans will be happy here. Anyone who owns Dispatch’s All Points Bulletin will recognize this song right away. Riddle in London Town begins with a simple little guitar tune played over and over again. This is how you know Urmston is from Dispatch: simple little guitar riffs, but brilliant vocals. This dark, somber song will keep you listening until the end. This time, however, the verses are much more interesting than the chorus, as they tell a very sad story of fighting and all that good stuff. This song is ace, and it seems like State Radio really knows what they’re doing.

After Riddle, a weird little drum/guitar intro opens up Man in the Hall. This song is a great blend of horns, Urmston’s knock-out lyrics, and a crazy bass line. This song doesn’t really stand out on this album, but that’s not to say it isn’t awesome. This song is fairly fast-paced, and I don’t really know what it is about. There isn’t much more to say about this song, but whatever, it’s still pretty sick.

Waitress begins with a heavily distorted guitar intro and a heavy drumbeat to go along with it. A little Rage Against the Machine influence here, obviously. The chorus for Waitress is just Urmston singing, “hey-oh” over and over again, but I think it works well.

“Hope I get a little snack tonight, hope I get a little smack tonight.” The Diner Song. I think this might be Urmston’s idea of a joke song. This contains some of the funniest lyrics I’ve heard in a while, telling about how a man has no money to pay for his food and has to pay the waitress otherwise. The chorus is pretty bland, but the verses are hilarious. I wouldn’t say this is a great State Radio song, but it’s definitely the funniest.

After the Diner Song, you really don’t know what to expect. Gunship Politico easily tops the Diner Song, and it is definitely one of the highlights of this album. The lyrics are great and the reggae tune is so catchy. Near the end of the song, there are about five different people singing at once, and it blends together perfectly to achieve a great sounding song.

Rushian is the 11th song on Us Against the Crown, and it is also the song where the album title comes from. “Don’t wanna know the odds, when it’s us against the crown.” Rushian is an interesting song to say the least. It starts out with Urmston singing, “Rushian, always Rushian.” Then there is a series of insane verses, and then the chorus. This is definitely the weirdest chorus on the album. The chorus is Urmston singing, “oodalolly oodalolly golly what a day.” In case you were wondering, they sing it in Robin Hood as well.

Calvado's Chopper is the slowest song on the album, but it is also crazy good. The outro with multiple guitars and Chad singing "Reelect Crook District Attorney" is just crazy. This song is dragged out a little bit, but it's not too long that you skip it.

Luckily, Us Against the Crown finishes extremely strong with the acoustic track, Sybil. This song is not very good quality, but it sounds awesome. This was the perfect way to end the album because it sounds so different from the rest of the songs. Us Against the Crown was a great album, an amazing way for State Radio to debut, and is one of the few albums I can listen to from start to finish. I recommend this album to anyone who needs another great band on their iPod. I can’t think of why they didn’t include Democracy in Kind on the album. It’s a great song, and it’s on a couple EPs they did earlier. Fans of Dispatch won't be disappointed, even though it's nothing like the acoustic/folk/reggae that Dispatch used to play. Hopefully, Dispatch fans will accept this change as I have. Other than that, Us Against the Crown was amazing.

By the way, this is my first review, so don’t criticize me too much :P



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user ratings (64)
4
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
dub sean
February 27th 2007


1011 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

yay, 1st review!

dub sean
February 27th 2007


1011 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

comments?This Message Edited On 02.27.07

Zebra
Moderator
February 27th 2007


2647 Comments


Split this review up into paragraphs and then it will be accepted.

dub sean
February 28th 2007


1011 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

my b

dub sean
February 28th 2007


1011 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

okay it's split up

JWT155
February 10th 2010


14957 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

30 ratings, pshhhh. Great album. Needs moar listeners!

Activista anti-MTV
March 15th 2012


3152 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah this is good



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