If I had to describe Tape The Radio, the first thing that would spring to mind would be a British, slightly-less commercial version of Kings of Leon / Kaiser Chiefs (and that is supposed to be a compliment before you go off on one).

This trio (Malcolm Carson, Ben Caruso & Bryan Mclellan) combines driving drum rhythms, edgy guitar riffs, and well thought-out vocals. The title track, 'Heartache and Fear' is a prime example of this accomplished blend and, in my opinion, is the most impressive and anthemic track on the album. The combination of the dry, simple and plain vocals during the verses, and the heavily-reverbed, effect-ridden vocals during the pre-chorus, chorus and bridge, helps to maintain the listener's interest during the song. Also, I would be lying if I didn't say that I may have played a little air-guitar during the solo! (I'm sure you're going to do the same thing, so don't look down your nose at me just yet!).

Similarly, I find the rawness of Malcolm Carson's vocals an endearing trait. There's something highly appealing about hearing the, some-what, chromaticised glissandos, despite the fact that the occasional semi-tone will be a little off. I must also say that the subtle rough edge/huskiness to his voice mixes exceptionally well with the tonality of the instruments, to create a perfectly-balanced blend of vocals and instrumentation.

The album Heartache and Fear, as a whole, contains a vast number of strong songs, any of which could easily be played along-side big-name bands, such as Stereophonics, Kings of Leon, Snow Patrol and Keane. The only thing I would really like to hear from these guys, would be some more varied tracks - in terms of tempo. Obviously 'The Message' is a different tempo to 'A Desert Track', (which too is a fabulous track; the repetitive, heavy, electronica-inspired synth line almost reminds me of M83's 'Unrecorded' - which is an incredible piece of music), but there are no ballads, or the equivalent.

I feel as though Heartache and Fear needs to feel the heartache and fear more. At present, it's almost as if the album is the equivalent of 2.5-D. It's more than 2-Dimensional, as some of the instrumentals have greater depth to them; however, it's not quite 3-Dimensional as they don't contain that "je ne sais quoi",which makes you able to fully empathise and relate to the emotions being conveyed through the lyrics.

Apart from that one point (which I hope will be rectified with the next album), I suppose the main issue I have with Heartache and Fear is that there are only 10 songs. I could quite easily (and happily) - listen to a 14 track album from these guys; but it looks like I shall just have to wait until their next release. So, all in all, hats off to Tape The Radio; they're one of the few bands who have left my ears ringing with the sound of eager anticipation, as opposed to the common reason, being deafened by excessively mediocre noise.

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