Scarecrow Collection - radio frequency disaster CD

Scarecrow Collection hail from New Jersey, a state practically made of rock and roll. Who doesn't think "Springsteen" when you hear the words "New Jersey?" Even if you think "Bon Jovi," or another more stereotypical response, that's OK. The Garden State has produced another unique rock band in Scarecrow Collection, adding to the northeast's astronomical tally of quality guitar-rock ensembles.
Many bands boast of their songwriting and catchiness, and Scarecrow Collection is one of them. However, there's plenty of evidence of both on their latest album, radio frequency disaster. Without being too aggressive or ham-handed, the band creates melodies and structures that fit their vivid lyrics and classic sound perfectly. One gets the feeling that they didn't set out to write one memorable song after another, but that the songs simply came out that way.

There are no better examples of this inherent ability than the opening combo of "I Won't Leave You There" and "Grateful," both lyrically weighty songs with music that nods to both the dramatic side of rock and the bouncy joy of a cathartic live performance. Some of the album's more dynamic moments occur among the wistful throes of "Faster," which transforms from a lovelorn shuffle into a jubilant jam-rock celebration, and the acoustic-guitar-laced "Don't Ever Change." "Shadows" sounds like it could easily find a home in heavy rotation, as Gerard Fee's appealing vocals glide over a positively poppy bed of well-manicured piano, organ, and guitar.

The synthesis of their naturally catchy songs and their stunning on-stage abilities is key to the success of radio frequency disaster. "Put You Down" is a thumping number that glows with a bright rock sound reminiscent of fellow northerners like Assembly of Dust and Ryan Montbleau Band, dirtied up with some crunchy keys courtesy of Edward Fritz. "Bottle" is a fine bar song, swaying with a classic rhythm from bassist Michael Sojkowski and drummer Joseph Fee, and shot through with tasteful guitar licks from Nick Setteducato. The irresistible intro of "Shell it Out" draws the listener into the song's lengthy journey through dark verses and big choruses.

50 minutes in, after the peaceful "Sometimes" ends, it seems like a perfect place for the album to end as well. I suppose you could view the last two songs, "Moon Will Always Rise" and the instrumental "Muse," as the bonus round - the encore, if you will. Not to sell them short, because their place on the album is definitely justified. "Moon" is one of the most diverse songs on the album, deftly showing off some of the band's individual skills, and "Muse" is a thoughtful, spiritual closer ringing with bells and acoustic guitars, pulsing with hand drums.

Scarecrow Collection's first album, Hooked & Shattered, sold completely out after many pressings. radio frequency disaster should exceed that level of appeal, as it has no weak spots and fully displays what this quintet of Jersey boys can achieve in a format aching for freshness.

--Bryan Rodgers