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State Radio

Musically, State Radio, which is paired with Rebelution at both of these gigs, doesn't always sound especially aggressive. "Rash of Robberies," "CIA" and other tracks from the Massachusetts band's latest album, 2008's Year of the Crow, kinda/sorta rock when they're not inviting noodle dancing with modified reggae riffs, but they tend to stop short of explosiveness. Word-wise, though, these guys are grenade-tossers: "We're the super neo-cons/We got bombs and they got barrels of gasoline," from "Gang of Thieves," is one of many examples. The Chad Stokes-led trio — part of the family tree that includes Dispatch, the indie success story that featured Denver's Brad Corrigan — exemplifies the lyrical left every bit as much as Rage Against the Machine, with whom the players shared a stage at one of the biggest concerts put on during last year's Democratic National Convention. That the players embed these messages in ultra-accessible music constitutes their secret weapon.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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