Greece is an oft-neglected country for decent rock music and is usually associated with the darker side of metal, although the unfathomable brilliance of Socrates Drank the Conium is worth sounding out. Well, now we have a band called Deaf Radio who are based in Athens and bill themselves as “a guitar based desert/alternative rock band.” They’ve been active in their homeland and released an acclaimed debut in 2017 and have performed at festivals alongside The Killers and The Kills(!) as well as touring around Europe.
Their second album, Modern Panic is now available and pulls together a varied set that has obvious Queens of the Stone Age influences but also maintains sufficient originality to begin to forge their own sound. After a minute of gentle guitar on ‘Intro’ it gets going properly with the Rated R stylings of ‘Death Club’. Its riff is catchy and effective and the slightly distorted vocals work well. ‘Animals’ is slower and subtler as the high-pitched vocal heralds some true alt-rock of quality. ‘Dance Like A Reptile’ nearly out-QUOTSA’s QOTSTA. The single ‘Astypalea’ named after a small island, is more commercial and immediate; the title track has a doomy balladic start and becomes a lilting indie rock classic in waiting. ‘Fossils’ weighty riff and chorus was close to being my favourite, but the closing track, ‘Gas Station People’ won out with its more coherent composition and varied approach. Although not a solo as such, it has a great picked chord section that is clever and entertaining too.
So, the QUOTSA feel aside, this album promises much for the future especially if they develop their own identity even more than here. I’m still not sure about the desert part of the description but they are certainly an accomplished alternative rock band that stands up well against the many competitors in the genre.