Review by Helienne Lindvall, Journalist featured in Digital Music News, Netopia, The Musician, The Australian and STIM-Magasinet with regular appearances on Sky News, the BBC, Irish National Radio and Swedish National Radio.

Pittsburgh’s Radio 45 – called “The New Knack” – release an EP that makes you feel like summer, all year long…

A new Knack? From Pittsburgh?? Judging by Radio 45’s breezy power-pop anthems “Feels Like Summer” and “Come Alive”, it’s not a wholly undeserved nickname. But even though their new EP “Transcendence” includes a glorious re-imagination of Cheap Trick’s “I Can’t Take It”, it also features originals songs that draw not only on influences from way back in the 80s (The KnackCheap Trick) but also as widely as Crowded HouseFountains of Wayne, and The Rembrandts.

They even sound like early U2 on their cover of I Will Follow – if U2 had been fronted by Jon Bon Jovi on vocals, that is. (Radio 45 features the former lead singer from Pittsburgh’s very own BonJourney tribute act). It’s a winning formula, as I Will Follow was a hit on XM, reaching as high as #2 on its charts, peaking at #2 on 98 radio stations in eight countries. That single has been remastered for the Transcendence disc.

“Going from strength to strength, Radio 45 has followed up their breezy anthem Feels Like Summer with another piece of pop perfection. There’s something so effortless and carefree about this band, and the feel-good single Come Alive manages to relay the joy of being in love without ever tipping into cheesiness.  

With an impossibly catchy chorus and sparkling harmonies, there’s a subtle touch of the Rembrandts to this song, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it became the theme tune for a Friends-style sitcom for the 2020s.”

— Helienne Lindvall

Though these Pittsburgh rockers call themselves Radio 45, radio is not the only medium that sustains the band. Unlike many of today’s pop stars, they do it the traditional way: by gigging. Few things can refine a band’s sound like performing live. And that is apparent when listening to Transcendence’s tight sparkling harmonies, the jangling guitars, and the pure joy that shines through every song – even, incredibly, the sad ones.

Radio 45 is on a mission to record more than 50 songs for their streaming catalogue by 2030, but for now it’s all about Transcendence. So put it on repeat and turn it up to eleven. And then go and check them out live at a venue near you. 

Photo credit: Digital Noise Photography

Additional information: “Transcendence” is available on all streaming platforms including SpotifyApple MusicAmazon Music and TIDAL.
Radio 45 consists of: 

Gary Bickerstaff on Lead Vocals and Guitars
Aaron Greer on Guitars, Lead Guitar, Lead Vocals
C. Scott Gilbert on Bass Guitars, Bass Pedals, Keyboards, Synthesizers, Guitars, Drums and Vocals
Mark Wesesky on Drums, Percussion, Drum Machine, Vocals
Label and Press Contact:

SodaPop Recorded Limited
(412) 503-7800

Management and Booking:
Amos White
Erica Lynn Hardwig

“Question: How can a sad love song sound so impossibly happy? Answer: When it’s played by Pittsburgh band Radio 45. This glorious re-imagination of Cheap Trick’s I Can’t Take It is so infectious that I challenge the most heartbroken person to not smile and dance along to it.  

Sure, there’s a hint of nostalgia to this record, but it’s mixed with a bit of early 2000s – and who can resist some 1980’s mixed with a bit of early 2000s nostalgia and these jangling guitars sprinkled with Radio 45s signature harmonies? The original version, released back in 1983, wasn’t a chart hit for Cheap Trick, but this record deserves a bigger reception.” 

— Helienne Lindvall


2 thoughts on “The New Knack? Are from Pittsburgh??

  1. Saw yinz open for Journey tribute E5C4P3, January 20, Jergel’s. Was unearned but super pleasantly surprised ! I
    That was my 5th E5C4P3 within 14 months and I’ve seen 5 horrendously bad fitting openers. I spoke with Gary briefly, thanked him for the pleasure. I hope to catch yinz again, and with E5C4P3 would be fantastic!
    Peace to yinz !

    1. Thank you for the kind words! It was our first event with E5C4P3 and we were blown away. Great band. Great people. Looking forward to pairing up with them again!

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