Saturday, March 24, 2018

FLASHBACK RECORD REVIEW: Megaphone "Exit Silent Mode"

Exit Silent Mode 

There I was, sitting in the control
room during a recent recording
session. At one point, the producer
struck up a conversation with the
engineer about the celebrated
Orlando rock band, Megaphone.
Hmm. Note to self go home
and revisit "Exit Silent Mode."

It was nearly a decade ago  Megaphone was hot as a pistol. Not only had the wildly popular four-piece Florida combo been opening for a menagerie of such rock icons as AC/DC and KISS' Paul Stanley, the band also was packing in fans at their own headline concerts in some of the area's premier venues, including the famed House of Blues. And it was there, on a rainy night in December 2009, when I first saw Megaphone perform live  opening for Aerosmith's Joe Perry. Simply put, I was hooked instantly by their irresistible, guitar-driven sound.

Onstage, frontman / guitarist Matthew Bloodwell, guitarist Paul Smith, bassist James Woodrich and drummer Scott Smith were a ferocious, formidable force. But what thwacked me hardest about Megaphone was the band's infectious, well-crafted pop / rock songs. In short order, I found myself standing at the merch booth, plunking down a moist wad of Washingtons for a CD copy of the band's just-released sophomore set, Exit Silent Mode.

Produced to meticulous perfection by Matthew Bloodwell, Justin O'Neill and Paul Smith, the crunchy 12-track collection packed enough punch to satisfy the staunchest modern rock purists, while oozing enough golden pop goodness to make Butch Walker cry like a naughty school girl following a firm after-class paddling.

Focusing on an array of relationship-related anxieties, the record's many highlights include the Hoobastank-flavored opening track, "Write it Down," and the super-catchy sing-along, "My Favorite New Disaster." But for me, THE shiniest gem of this 45-minute treasure trove is the seemingly Eddie Ojeda-inspired, arena-caliber anthem "Bad to Good."

In sum, almost ten years later, Exit Silent Mode remains one of my all-time favorite, go-to feel-good records.

-Christopher Long
(March 2018)
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C'MON! -

(Coming April 7, 2019)

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