LOCH NESS RADIO: Self-titled: CD

When I was young, I would often buy albums based on their sleeve art. Not the soundest criteria for purchasing music I know, but I generally did okay. Well, had I applied this “formula” to Loch Ness Radio, I would have missed out, as the cover is a painting of some old school radios floating in a body of water, which I don’t think the teenage me would have been too terribly taken with. I would have missed out though, as this disc kind of kills it: sixteen tracks of off-kilter punk rock with some meaningful variety. Just when I thought I had nailed down some apt comparisons, the band goes and throws me a curve ball on pretty much every song. The music sputters along with a certain nervous energy that takes equal parts from a loose, almost sloppy rhythm section coupled with some pretty manic guitar work. Likewise, the vocalist has a pretty diverse range, able to bellow as well as hit some sweet Dave Vanian-like stylings. Also worthy of mention are the lyrics, which tend to walk the line between straight up narrative and quirky rambling. Good stuff.

 –Garrett Barnwell (Loch Ness Radio, lochnessradio.com)