Named for the pre-Cold War precursor to the propaganda outlet Voice of Russia, Radio Moscow are a psych-tinged blues-rock trio from Ames, Iowa, with a similarly anachronistic retro feel.
Where bands like the Black Keys (whose guitarist Dan Auerbach produced Radio Moscow's debut album) and the White Stripes play with a stripped-down, modern take on the old power trio sound, Radio Moscow hark back to the glory days of the power trio, when Cream, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and Blue Cheer roamed the earth and the power of the Marshall stack was unquestioned. While the group's earlier releases, specifically their 2007 eponymous debut, looked more to the past for inspiration, later offerings like The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz (2011) and Magical Dirt (2014) saw the band adopt a more muscular approach that incorporated elements of doom and stoner metal.
Radio Moscow formed in Ames in 2004, a collaboration between two garage punk enthusiasts whose tastes had shifted into the heavy side of late-'60s psychedelia. Guitarist, singer, songwriter, and drummer Parker Griggs and bassist Luke McDuff approached Auerbach with a demo following a Black Keys gig, and the more established musician was impressed enough to both produce their debut album and to get the duo signed to his label, Alive Records. Although Griggs and McDuff recorded their self-titled first album as a duo, the pair hired drummer Mayuko to complete the trio for live purposes shortly before the album's release.
The band continued as a two-piece for 2009's hard-hitting Brain Cycles and 2011's even beefier The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz. In 2012, Alive released 3 and 3 Quarters, an album Griggs recorded by himself in 2003 when he was 17 years old and much more heavily influenced by Pebbles-style garage rock. For the 2014 album Magical Dirt, Radio Moscow unveiled a new lineup, with Griggs joined by a fresh rhythm section, bassist Anthony Meier and drummer Paul Marrone. Now officially a power trio, the group documented its new on-stage force with the 2016 release Live in California. The following year saw the group ink a deal with Century Media Records and release the heavy psych-fueled New Beginnings, their fifth studio long-player. ~ Stewart Mason, Rovi