New Release: Radkey Green Room (Little Man Records)
This Kansas City trio, consisting of the Radke brothers: Dee (vocals, guitar), Isaiah (bass), and Solomon (drums), are “on a quest to help save the world from false rock.” For those unfamiliar with Radkey, the band has been around and paid some dues. Their first live gig – believe it or not – was as teenagers opening for Fishbone in 2011. Now in their mid-20s, they’ve opened for Jack White, Rise Against, Descendents, and The Damned, to name a few. They’ve also played Coachella, SXSW, Afropunk, Riotfest, and the UK’s Download Fest. In 2013, Radkey released the debut EP Cat & Mouse, followed quickly by the Devil Fruit EP.
Once on the scene, the brothers created their own label, Little Man Records, and began self-producing and releasing their music. Green Room is the group’s second full-length after 2015’s Dark Black Makeup (re-released in 2016 as Delicious Rock Noise featuring additional songs). For Green Room, the band launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the record. With a solid fan base securely in place, the trio raised $28,534 of their $10,000 goal.
The first track, “Seize,” is a perfect example of the band’s straight-ahead rock sound. While there may be a hint of Foo Fighters here, there is more Nirvana in the brothers’ blood. The trio has been labeled as an amalgamation of punk rock, garage rock, and psychedelic rock sounds. “Two-Face” brings a somewhat mid-tempo sound, highlighting each brother’s strong suit: lead vocalist Dee has serious rock ‘n’ roll pipes while playing guitar with more skill than a lead singer should possess; Isaiah plucks the low bass with skill and ease, offering solid harmonies; Solomon handles the drums like a seasoned veteran. It’s as if their homeschool upbringing actually took place at Julliard.
Maybe the most accessible thing they’ve recorded is the excellent “Bend.” In it, Dee plays acoustic guitar while supplying perfect vocals. The band described it as “A song about getting a little older, running around the world for most of your teen and adult life before kind of stopping for a little while to look at where you are, and at the kinds of things that you’ve blindly sacrificed in order to get where you want to be in life.”
The 11-song release continues to shine with well-written, high energy tunes. Dee screams “I’m naked in my bed” in the punk-happy “Real Deal.” As cover songs go, the blazing rendition of the 1971 Bill Withers classic “Ain’t No Sunshine” closes out the album in heady style. With a length of just under two minutes, the band sets the original ablaze.
For more Radkey stuff, visit their website, or purchase Green Room at Bandcamp. As vaccinations surge and Covid cases drop – hopefully – look for the band to visit a city near you. In the meantime, join the Radkey Patreon page for next to nuthin!
Categories: New Music