Radio Wars

  • Record Label: Nettwerk
  • Release Date: Jul 28, 2009
Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. They hail from sunny Sydney, but this solid second set cements the Bells firmly in rock's melancholia tradition, echoing the Bunnymen and Tindersticks.
  2. The album's first half conceals those weaknesses beneath dramatic arrangements, but the law of diminishing returns sets in by the midway point.
  3. There exists a plodding, phoned-in emotional evenness here which, for a band trading on matters of the soul, is a big problem and one that will stop them entering the arenas those strings were employed for.
  4. Q Magazine
    60
    [The new sound] works well on single 'Cities Burning Down,' which glides by catchily with a curious mix of muscle and lethargy, but it's less welcome on the cod-psychedlic 'Let's Be Kids' or the trite 'Golden Web,' both which are cosmetically seemless, but lack depth. [Apr 2009, p.105]
  5. All in all though, Radio Wars is disappointingly average; pleasant but fairly forgettable, and in contrast to its misleading title, should really have been named Radio Friendly instead.
  6. On their second album, Radio Wars, the Bells deliver billowy dream pop accented with atmospheric guitars, string arrangements and digitized beats.
  7. Howling Bells fall into the same trap that kills most sorta-weird rock bands when they try to write a more popular sophomore album: Everything sounds bigger, but everything is easily more forgettable.
  8. The way that Howling Bells constructed Radio Wars relies on strong melodies, hooks, songs, songs that aren’t really there, ideas not quite developed.
  9. Musically, it's all mid-tempo indie-by-numbers, shimmery enough to accompany an scene of upbeat emotion in Dawson's Creek; yet sufficiently credible, as indie so often is, to provide the soundtrack to a montage of trailers in an advert for a new Film 4 season.
User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Roberts
    Jul 30, 2009
    5
    Not half as good as their debut album. Adequate but forgettable.
  2. AJTF
    Jul 29, 2009
    5
    There's already one Metric.
  3. FredR.
    Jul 28, 2009
    6
    Saw them open for Snow Patrol and Coldplay in Vancouver and they were excellent. This album is very disappointing compared to their live set. Saw them open for Snow Patrol and Coldplay in Vancouver and they were excellent. This album is very disappointing compared to their live set. The band rocks much harder and is edgier live. Full Review »