CD Review: Rock Gator Radio – “The Compilation to End All Compilations”


The Compilation to End All Compilations

When James Cripps first contacted us to review Rock Gator Radio’s album “The Compilation to End All Compilations” we thought; well okay, this should be a relatively quick and easy review of the music of a few of our local bands.  But, we were so freaking wrong!  This album is much more than we expected!

We have spent a good amount of time over the past two weeks listening to “The Compilation to End All Compilations”, and have to tell you; it’s like going to the carnival just to ride the “Scrambler” again and again.  Just when you think you’re comfortably banging your head in Longwood or Deland with the heavy riffs of ReaGan Smash or Aunt Stella’s Ashes… you are slung off to Tampa in the progressive direction of Fight Another Day… hurled over to Ft. Myers for some electronic Love In War… then off in the other direction to the beaches of New Smyrna for a shot of Dakota Black… landing back in Orlando to gain a little Myndsight.  You get the picture… this compilation shows off some of Florida’s best home grown music.

James created Rock Gator Radio to support local and independent music worldwide and has  showcased a range of artists from around the country, and as far away as Australia in this compilation.  While we love listening to the tracks from Temujin, Voodoo Terror Tribe, Luminis, and the others from distant lands; Ms. Rose’s cold little heart is firmly planted here in Florida supporting our local bands.  So, we will focus our review on the diverse and excellent tunes represented here by bands from around our hot swampy homeland.     

 Lit Up

Melbourne, Florida

 “Deadman Walking”

A song with a lesson in “what comes around goes around”; an easy tune to get into from start to finish.  “Deadman Walking” is the embodiment of Lit Up’s total sound … old-school turned new again. The influence from the monster bands from ‘80’s and ‘90’s is apparent and serves them well as Lit Up reinvents and improves the classic hard rock style.


ReaGan Smash

Longwood, Florida

 “To Your Knees”

Funny little story about Regan Smash – the first and only time we have seen them live they were one of the bands performing at a 5k race, called the “Rock N Run”.  And we thought to our self; “good god these guys have some balls… bringing their metal asses out here on the street corner, basically unplugged, at like 7:00am”.   ReaGan Smash was the only rock at all at that “Rock N Run”.  And they sounded really good at that ridiculous early morning hour!   We are very happy to see them included in this compilation with this awesome tune.

“To Your Kees” is a hard driving metal song that grabs you from the first note and serves up some great guitar work.  Their sound is way beyond what most young bands can achieve in just a few years together.   This song will become a classic in the ReaGan Smash catalog.


Aunt Stella’s Ashes

 Deland / Daytona, Florida

“Somewhere Close to Sane”

“Somewhere Close to Sane” is a dark and brooding song that takes off like a bullet to the head.  This is kind of an exploration in what is and what isn’t sane, and how we choose to deal with it, or not deal with it.  Awesome guitar shreds, heavy base…. reminiscent of Alice in Chains.  Aunt Stella’s Ashes is on Rose’s must see live list for 2013.


Fight Another Day

Tampa, Florida

“Rub Some Dirt On It”

With its catchy lyrics and breakdowns, and a dramatic fade out at the end, this song should gain Fight Another Day’s alternative rock some serious attention from the masses.


Love in War

Ft. Myers, Florida

“Stray Bullets”

Brilliantly crafted blend of symphonic electro and a touch of hard rock, with Kate’s haunting and beautiful voice binding it all together.  “Stray Bullets” is the kind of song that jumps into your head in the middle of your other thoughts and stays with you all day.



Orlando, Florida

 “Cycle of Violence”

“Cycle of Violence” forces you to look at obsessive compulsive relationships and the violence that all too often comes out of them.  About halfway through the song, a child’s voice making a call to 9-1-1 is positively heart wrenching.   A solidly kick-ass song with an important message.


Dakota Black

New Smyrna Beach, Florida

  “Still Bleeding”

Classic Southern Rock tune about the state of the world today, expressed with all the grit, gravel, and raw emotion you could ever want from a band as bad ass as Dakota Black.


Kill the Sound

Orlando, Florida

“Locked Down”

An outstanding song for every defiant, determined, “not gonna take any more shit” lady out there.  “Locked Down” kicks in with an angry growl, then Kim’s unique vocal style perpetuates the angst in the well written lyrics.  A classy and almost flippant way to be pissed off at bad relationships.


Black Tent Revival

Orlando, Florida

 “I’m a Bad Man”

We have to admit that Black Tent Revival is new to Rose.  And we always enjoy an introduction to a band we have not yet heard, especially when it’s an awesomely well done bluesy tune like this one.  “I’m a Bad Man” takes it to the core of Bluesy rock in a groove much like Grand Funk Railroad in the ‘70’s.


Rubble Road

Orlando, Florida

” First Ticket Out “

This is the second band in the compilation that is new to Rose’s ears.  In our research we learned that Rubble Road actually covered Grand Funk’s “American Band”… and did a pretty damn good job of it!  “First Ticket Out”  also shows it roots in old-school ‘70’s rock; it’s simple, to the point, in your face.  We will make it a point to catch them live soon.


Another Life Spared

Cocoa, Florida


And then there’s Another Life Spared… a band we have been following since their early stages. “Cataclysm” is one of the best singles to come out of any of Florida’s bands in recent years.   From the intricate and kind of surreal lead in, this song takes you on a dark ride through human nature with a most perfect exchange between Will and Jennifer’s vocals and awesome music created by Dillon, Greg, Vaughn and Kevin.  


We have one question for James; Is this really the “Compilation To End All Compilations”?

There are just so many bands making so much music!  We can only hope that you and Rock Gator Radio will continue your quest to support local music everywhere. 

To the bands out there … Check out Rock Gator Radio… contact James via facebook or… maybe the next Rock Gator Radio album will be the “Ultimate Compilation of Florida Bands – Vol. 1”   (just a suggestion here…James   😀 )


 Rock Gator Radio …. Keep doing what you’re doing!  \m/