Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of all of the new bands out there in the sea of constant new releases. It’s nice to run across one that really stands out. Radkey has been around for about 5 years now and have released a series of ep’s and singles, but “Dark Black Makeup” marks the full album debut from the Midwest trio consisting of brothers Solomon,Dee, and Isaiah Radke who all range in age from 17 to 21, the fact of which is more of an interesting side note than a novelty.
Those just discovering the band will find that they capture a garage rock vibe with an emphasis on heavy fast melodic punk with a healthy dose of straight up rock and roll all wrapped up together in an incredibly catchy package (See: title track, Feed My Brain, Romance Dawn). If I had to pick one term to use for them, I think “skate punk” would be an apt description.
The vocals are inescapably Danzig-esque, a comparison Dee (vocals/guitar) likely embraces as can be seen on the rather Vampira-esque “Le Song”, but it comes off as more of a tip of the hat than an attempt to copy or a one trick pony. It’s actually an interesting choice to go with clean sung vocals rather than screaming, which has become the norm. Not that there’s isn’t a time and place for that, but I think it makes them a little more approachable and works well with the band as a whole, especially for the harmony parts. Their obvious dedication to their music is refreshing and their youthful energy makes them a must see live band. -J.House
Radkey will be appearing w/ Soda Bomb + The Teen Age at The Studio@ Webster Hall 10/7/15
Some audio samples
Dark Black Makeup now on Little Man Records. Available through the band’s website, record stores, and Itunes.