Cool Your Jets reminds one of Americana’s first great flowering, an album that sits comfortably next to Wilco’s A.M., The Jayhawks’ Hollywood Town Hall and Son Volt’s Trace – all worthy descendents of the roots-influenced, energized, off-handedly skillful rock tributary stemming from The Band. Like the best children of Levon, Robbie, et al. Patrolled By Radar possesses a unique, hard to pin down individual spark, extenders of a tradition rather than mimics, where something heartfelt and quietly moving wanders the curved roads and smoky haunts of their tunes. Heck, even ol’ Lawrence Welk makes a champagne cameo so you know it’s good!
The Daily News Pittsburgh Metro
PATROLLED BY RADAR, “Be Happy” (Knitting Factory) 4.5 Stars
About a minute into “Be Happy,” the debut full-length from Patrolled By Radar, I was hooked. That’s because the man behind PBR, singer/songwriter Jay Souza, has the type of nasal drawl that I enjoy so much. With an eclectic sound that incorporates indie folk, country, rock and soul, this 10-track gem should appeal to most listeners. There’s not a clunker to be found on “Be Happy,” as Souza has crafted a near-perfect platter. Among the keepers here are “Widow Next Door,” the haunting “Dressed for the Drought,” “Coat of Disappointment,” “Haywire” and the title track. Patrolled By Radar will stay in heavy rotation on my iPod.
PATROLLED BY RADAR, "BE HAPPY"
Steeped in a multitude of genres, all of which sound unique and unmatched, and layered with unwavering grace, Be Happy is a rare album that not only makes the listener feel good about what is transpiring in their ears but also tells an important and hopeful tale about life, love and happiness in these unrelentingly confusing times...like wandering through the Old West then suddenly transporting you back to the bustling, rocking streets of now, and it is here we make our stay and come to the realization that an album like this is rare and should be relished in all its glory.
KCRW - The Open Road
Wowza for Jay Souza. PATROLLED BY RADAR is a great band with terrific songs. Bang and twang!
The Onion AV/Los Angeles
Frontman Jay Souza and friends are certified alchemists with a gift for spinning instantly relatable yarns that can magically transform whatever venue they happen to be playing into a hootin'-and-hollerin' honky-tonk. Their stonewashed blend of rockabilly, southern gothic, and roots rock (with a not so secret splash of punk inflected Brit-pop) shines sweetly on the recent Shadow of the Noose.
With their latest release, a concise 10-track collection titled with, one hopes, a glimmer of irony, Be Happy, perennial L.A. combo Patrolled By Radar distance themselves yet further from the Alt Country label that they’ve sported somewhat uncomfortably since they ventured onto the scene some eleven years and four albums ago.
As labels go, Americana is even vaguer than Alt Country but at least it suggests a broader canvass, which is useful in this case. It also evokes plenty of evocative stuff like crackly valve radios, roadhouse crooners, bad whisky and worse women, all of which resonate fulsomely throughout Be Happy, an album riven with enough heartache, yearning and pain to satisfy the most die-hard C&W fans. It also retains the band’s notorious balance of crunch and twang - thunderous drums, rock solid bass and guitars that jangle and shred in harmonious accord.
But it’s obvious that frontman and songwriter Jay Souza looks farther afield for his inspiration than Nashville - or, indeed, the United States. It’s not uncommon to read comments like “Johnny Cash meets The Beatles” in Patrolled By Radar reviews, and they do have some currency. There is, in the sly lyrics and brisk song structures, echoes of classic Britpop that, to these ears at least, recalls The Kinks and The Who more readily than The Beatles.
That said, Be Happy never strays far from its roots, which are firmly planted in the American heartland. Be Happy is Patrolled By Radar's most ambitious and satisfying album by far, a culmination of fully matured songwriting, superb musicianship and a confident and unique blend of styles. And the only label you need for that is damn fine rock and roll.
Jay Souza sounds like a mix between Brit Rock and Tom Petty, creating solid vocals amidst a driving, sonic backdrop. A well done full length [Brood or Change] for anyone in the mood for sing along rock and pop. A favorite over here at the Empire of Swine.
With slide guitar, the lazy drawl and distressing tales of lost love, Patrolled By Radar posses the must-have tidbits of classic country music without ignoring the "alternative" side of things. The two-sided sound leads to comparisons to contemporaries like Sumack, a somewhat vague but sure-fire reference, and long-standing rockers The Kinks...
The CD 'Brood or Change' certainly reflects a few like-minded gentlemen who work best together as a group to nail down the necessary parts, which leads to each song being a complete work that can stand on its own if need be.
If I were driving Route 127 between Santa Fe and Albuquerque in my 1975 Chevy pickup, I’d definitely pop in Patrolled By Radar to my 8 track player....
Brood or Change, made me feel like I should be rocking out in a bar with plenty of something cold on tap. The Clash, Waits, Costello, and Cash are all a part of the sound that this LA-based band is pulling off with great success.
But the sound is still their own, lead by a unique voice, great lyrics, catchy compositions and excellent musicianship....
My friends know that I am perhaps the biggest music snob there is and these guys are going to stay in my CD player for a while.
Thank you, [Patrolled By Radar], thank you for reaffirming that great music is being made despite the best efforts of Blink 182...
Radio Crystal Blue
[Patrolled By Radar] neatly borrows and begs from all the songs that made early rock n' roll, classic rock and contemporary rock so memorable.
First time I heard "Fiction" I envisioned my radio as a time machine, playing all the sounds from the 50's to the 70's all at once.
Those with a real love for classic rock and all its nuances will quickly find themselves fans of this great California group.
The Music Never Stops/KPFK 90.7
In addition to liking the band and the album, I very much dig the writing. The lyrics are truly artful in all the best ways. One doesn't get to hear well-crafted, intelligent lyrics much anymore...
There's not enough of that in contemporary American songcraft. The craftsmanship and wit are appreciated!
Delusions of Adequacy
Like the Kinks reborn as honky-tonk hillbillies or an alt-country band that has read Oscar Wilde, the LA-based fivesome combines the best of British barbs with all that’s good and great in Americana. Think drawling vocals, jerky American-gothic guitars, soaring choruses, and you’re on the right track. In other words...pretty damn good.
[Patrolled By Radar] is an irreverent L.A. rock band whose sound could have belonged to the Beatles if they'd grown up in Austin instead of Liverpool.