Being a new and upcoming band is difficult to say the least. They’re judged on the back of short critical notices, one or two showcase gigs and the unfair yardstick of their influences and that’s it. It’s truly an unenviable position. Then why do RADKEY make it look so easy?
The band comprises three brothers out of Missouri in the heart of Midwestern America, an area with no great musical heritage to speak of, unless you count the band Kansas and you best believe we bloody don’t! RADKEY look set to change all that. They’ve already earned plaudits from Zane Lowe and the NME and played a couple of barnstorming gigs at SXSW and Download, now the trio have channelled that energy of their live show into this, their debut release.
The band plays fast, exuberant punk rock that’s chock full of the Ramones, Misfits and the Clash DNA. Still, this isn’t a history lecture and these lads are no crate diggers, there’s a hint of Julian Casablancas’ lazy drawl in vocalist/guitarist Dee’s delivery and middle brother Isaiah’s bass lines could be plucked straight from Arctic Monkeys’ records. Most importantly though, the tunes are top notch, don’t be surprised if single Cat & Mouse isn’t on your radio and stuck in your head very soon.
Sure, some of the face-melting solos may be unnecessary and the lyrics kind of dumb particularly Out Here in My Head, but what’s rock ‘n’ roll without a little excess? Boring, that’s what and RADKEY definitely aren’t. It’s a strange alchemy that can take so many influences, old and new, blend them together and yet still sound completely different and unique. These boys are certainly playing with some potent magic indeed.