Pilot Radio takes off
on self-titled debut
By Shiley Carter
In 1996, three high school friends coincidentally
found themselves receiving music instruments, from guitars to drums, as
Photo courtesy of Solar Flare Productions
From high school buddies
to local rock gods, Pilot Radio uses lush instrumentation on its self-titled
debut. Its influences range from Tom Petty
and the Heartbreakers to Better than Ezra.
Ricky Young (vocals, guitar), Austen Hooks
(drums) and Drew Walters (bass) began playing around as a three-piece.
Later, Charlie Way (guitar)
and Keith Shepard (lead guitar) rounded
out the band now known as Pilot Radio.
With varied influences, including rock
groups Better than Ezra and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, these five
guys began creating original
music that seemed not to stop flowing.
The release of the band's first self-titled
independent album came in 2001, just before Shepard, the fifth member,
After it gained management (through Solar
Flare Productions), Pilot Radio's name began creating a buzz everywhere
As it played for crowds as large as 5,000
people, it seemed apparent that its fan base was at an all-time high.
Its sound is somewhat soothing. Lead vocalist
Young is fresh and distinct in all he sings.
He echoes a sound reminiscent of that of
the Counting Crows' lead singer, Adam Duritz, but with a little more clarity.
The band's music itself encompasses a great
deal of mood-leading; it has the power, through its dexterity and range
of tempos, to pull the listener
in and out of a range of beautiful emotion
"Faces" is upbeat, with layered musical
sounds accentuating the overall feel of the song.
"This Time" is lyrically easy to relate
to. Its topic is ending relationships, about which Young sings, "I'm the
one who's hurting, this time, you're the
one who's learning, this time."
"Lighthouse" is intricately harmonious.
The lyrics are metaphorically detailed.
The song opens, "Like a castle on a hillside
by the bay/ Flooded by a dissipating hurricane/ And the water exits with
the dirt from the floor/ And
leaves some sand in its place/ Is it a
With other instruments adding a very textured
sound throughout the album, Pilot Radio has succeeded at producing a beautiful
piece of artistry.
As the band continues playing in Houston
and surrounding areas, keep your eyes open and try to catch one of its