On Thursday October 1st, Radio Moscow gave a blazing performance to a full house at the Crocodile Cafe in Seattle. The lineup featured on their latest outing Magical Dirt — Parker Griggs on guitar and vocals, Anthony Meier playing bass, and Paul Marrone playing drums — has been touring relentlessly in Europe, Latin America, and the US since the album’s release in 2014, including a performance on Rockpalast, the heralded German television show.
Griggs, who has that rare combination of soul, style, and fluidity, was in particularly fine form, stretching musically at every opportunity. The band covered material from their entire catalog including the feedback and uptempo groove of “Rancho Tehama Airport” and the heavy rhythmic undercurrent of “Death Of A Queen,” two of the newest additions to their set list. Griggs’ vocals raw, his singing raged with the electric blues that he is long famous for, psychedelic in essence, with a nod to original grunge.
“250 Miles” started with a slow guitar intro, clean, Griggs singing about stepping out into the cold weather and moving to a new place where no one knows him, despite missing his girl. When the rhythm kicked in the band handed it to the packed Crocodile, Griggs soloing with distortion and overdrive. The song climaxed with feedback and tremolo, then wound its way into “Brain Cycles,” the ferociously psychedelic title track of their second album, Marrone’s drumming the natural compliment to Griggs’ fiery playing.
While “Deep Blue Sea,” from their self-titled first album, was a brain melting slower blues, “Before It Burns” from their latest release was uptempo, Marrone riffing fiercely against Griggs’ wailing vocals while Meier held the pocket on his Rickenbacker bass. As the intensity then decreased, Marrone’s Latin playing comping Griggs’ guitar work, volume and feedback layering led the music out completely, then it built back up for a climactic ending.
Opening with a bass line and power chords, the final tune was “No Good Woman” from Brain Cycles. Played slower than the album version, the groove seemed to hang in the air like smoke in the stage lighting. Griggs lamented the lyrics, “She’s a no good woman and she drives her man insane, I had to quit her,” against the mid-tempo rhythm of the tune which stopped suddenly for the chorus: “I’m getting so tired of waiting on you!” This led into searing guitar work, Marrone sparring on the drums against reverb saturated feedback, then the song jumped into uptempo guitar soloing, breaking down for an explosive finale to bring their set to a close.