Urmston, who disbanded Dispatch
at the height of its popularity in 2002, formed State Radio later the same year. Focusing exclusively on guitar and vocals instead of the instrument switching he was previously known for, he brought in second guitarist Pete Halby, bassist Chuck Fay, and drummer Mike Greenfield to round out the lineup. After the exploratory debut EP Flag of the Shiners was released by Fenway Recordings in late 2002, State Radio went on a temporary hiatus throughout 2003 as Urmston recovered from throat surgery. Returning to active duty in 2004 as a slimmed-down trio with new drummer Brian Sayers, State Radio followed a second EP, Simmer Kane, with the release of 2006's Us Against the Crown. Another personnel change occurred before State Radio toured in support of the album, with drummer Mike Najarian replacing Sayers.
The sophomore effort Year of the Crow followed in fall 2007, bringing with it an emphasis on louder guitars and sociopolitical themes. State Radio reinforced such themes by launching service projects in each city the band visited, and Urmston briefly reconvened Dispatch
for a three-night charity performance at Madison Square Garden, with funds going toward Zimbabwe relief. State Radio maintained such political awareness on 2009's Let It Go. ~ Stewart Mason, Rovi