Lee Aaron: ‘Radio On!’

Released on July 23, 2021 (Metalville Records)

Lee Aaron and Co. sure can write a hook. That’s the through-line comprising the 12 tracks on the new release, Radio On!. There’s something for everyone here — a dash of country swagger, full on ‘blooze’, some ballads, all-out rockers — and each seem to carry a sun drenched hook more effective than the last.

Let me make something clear — this isn’t bubblegum. What it is, is an artist and her talented band with the chops to go where the mood takes them. And while they take some detours and tackle a variety of difficult subjects — addiction, mortality, materialism — the overall direction of Radio On! is fun.

Standouts abound. Opener “Vampin'” is a Zeppelin-esque stomper that lets guitarist Sean Kelly shine. The hooky, powerful “Soul Breaker” follows, and it’s one of the strongest tracks on the album. “You’re so full of lies / So sad you believe em,” Lee Aaron spits about a minute into it. It’s not all sunshine here. One spin through the bluesy ‘on the road so long I can’t see straight’ swagger of “Mama Don’t Remember” confirms it.  What hits hard on Radio On! is the songwriting. Lee Aaron is a pro, and she shows it on tracks like “Soul Breaker,” the moody “Devil’s Gold” and the irresistible, almost big-band swing of “Russian Doll.” There’s even a refreshing spin on the “one for the money / two for the show” lyrical trope on the uplifting “Had Me At Hello.”

As mentioned, Radio On! is full of standouts. “Devil’s Gold” is a strong, bluesy ballad carried by Lee Aaron‘s witchy delivery. The highlight however, may be “Wasted,” a haunting, heart wrenching love letter from daughter to father that opens acoustically before launching into the hard rock stratosphere about halfway through. Ultimately though, this is a good time record made to be played loud. Nowhere is this demonstrated better than the raucous title track and the flirty “C’mon”, a radio-ready banger in the fullest sense. Brimming with energy, it’s smart, infectious, power pop — much like the whole of Radio On!. Highly recommended.

Verdict: The Metal Queen is in fine form on this slamming, sunny, summertime release.

Track List:
01. Vampin’
02. Soul Breaker
03. C’mon
04. Mama Don’t Remember
05. Radio On
06. Soho Crawl
07. Devil’s Gold
08. Russian Doll
09. Great Big Love
10. Wasted
11. Had Me at Hello
12. Twenty One

Band Members:
Lee Aaron – vocals
Sean Kelly – guitars
Dave Reimer – bass
John Cody – drums

Band Websites:
Official Website

Reviewed by Dan Hamilton for Sleaze Roxx, August 2021

Lee Aaron‘s “C’mon” single:

Lee Aaron‘s “Vampin'” single: