NO SOAP RADIO - NO SOAP RADIO (2001, SELF RELEASED) Danny Roselle - vocals
Jimmy Farrell - guitars
Chris O Hara - drums
Walt Lockhart - bass
There are a number of ways that a relatively new band can get noticed. Selling bucketloads of CD's, shifting plenty of merchandise or touring until the inside of a tour bus becomes home sweet home are the more conventional ways of getting known, but there can't be many better ways of turning heads than blagging an exposure-guaranteed part in The Sopranos, as New Jersey natives No Soap Radio have managed to do. For most indie bands, convincing the general public to part with their hard earned cash to buy CD's and concert tickets is an achievement in itself, but to have TV super-exec David Chase personally get in touch to ask if No Soap Radio's music could be featured in the brilliant HBO gangster show is a fairly good sign that in Mob lingo, the quartet could very well be a 'made' band. The name is admittedly a bit of a mystery, but after one listen to the nine tunes on No Soap Radio's debut CD what becomes even more puzzling is how they are not currently riding around NYC in a Limo with a major-label deal in the bag. Actually, the band briefly had a deal with the now defunct indie label Open Door Records, but shortly after dissolving their agreement with the label, their ultra-catchy song 'All About You' caught the ear of Mr Chase and before the guys knew it, they were given a cameo part as a bar band in Episode 34 of the most recent series of the Mob drama. It's not hard to understand why 'All About You' has garnered such high profile attention; an edgy, rocking and undeniably melodic punk/pop tune in the vein of bands like Lit, it is the highlight from an excellent collection of tunes that grab your attention quicker than Tony Soprano grabs Jackie Jnr. by the throat.
Opener 'Undone' is a case in point with a razor sharp riff, commercially-minded melodies and a solid production job that set No Soap Radio apart from a lot of currently unsigned (and even some signed) bands. Vocalist Danny Roselle has a real presence in his impressive voice, and it bursts into life on bouncy second track 'Don't Start' and the quite brilliant modern rock of 'Fade In' which is as good a rock song as you'll hear. The curiously titled 'Christina Ricci' demonstrates No Soap Radio's songwriting skills still further with a really subtle hook in the chorus, as well as showcasing the talents of guitarist Jimmy Farrell whose axe-work is superb throughout. The pace quickens again on the throbbing pop/punk of 'Happy', but yet again it's clear that these songs wouldn't sound out of place on current rock radio so good are the melodies and musicianship. The two closing tracks are further evidence that No Soap Radio are one of the most exciting and talented new bands to surface in the past 12 months, and show they have a tightness and unity gained from numerous slots supporting the likes of The Clarks, Push Stars and The Tories. 'Way Back Down' in particular is another kick-ass tune with a real modern sound, whilst 'A Word Behind' is probably the most restrained tune on the record and has a definite Beatles influence in the mid section to add another twist to No Soap Radio's sound.
Even without their appearance on 'The Soprano's', the songs, attitude and all-round talent No Soap Radio display on this release proves the band have what it takes to make the step up to massive success. So whatever you do, don't 'fuhgeddaboudit' otherwise No Soap Radio will have no option but to send Tony and the boys round to make sure you DO hear their music. With such friends in high places, you have been warned.