Sunday, October 13, 2013

Radkey Cat & Mouse EP Wreckroom 2013

Radkey Cat & Mouse EP Wreckroom 2013 NO CAT#

So, here's a group of under-the-age of 20 brothers from St. Joseph, Missouri playing American style punk.  Oh, and they're African American.  So, black teenage brothers from the heartland playing punk rock, nationally, needless to say, there's a lot of hype around them.  They've toured, been featured in the Village Voice, have a limited 12" release, yet there bio states they just recently learned to play music?  I don't know, man.  There's a lot to go over with this band.

For one, it's pretty apparent someone is setting this band up to be the next big thing.  You don't have limited, self-released, import only, 12" EP come out with out someone footing the bill.  You also don't have such an amazing back story without taking a few liberties.  Three brothers from St. Joesph who magically picked up instruments and almost instantaneously put out a record?  On word of mouth alone they book tours in Europe? And seriously, they have a "look."  The middle brother and bassist looks like the lead singer of Thin Lizzy.  I mean, it's an obvious modeled look.  I've been to St. Joesph and that isn't a look the teenagers are sporting.  And if the band is so "brand" new, where did they score the sweet gear?

So yeah, I have my reservations about the band's riveting back story.  I think there's a lot of fabrication.  However, I don't think it's a bad thing, I mean, it's pretty clear, they are going to be the next "big" thing.  And, the first BIG release is going to be something incredible.  I just think whoever is putting out that release is behind the scenes feeding the hype machine.  These songs are just too good to believe all that.

On Cat & Mouse, the band plays straight ahead early American punk.  You'll read a lot of comparisons to Danzig-esque vocals and the Misifits and those comparisons aren't far off.  Not quite as hardcore as the Misfits, but close.  Dark and menacing with the aggression and energy of early Black Flag, the brothers pummel through 5 teen rockers.  And it's well produced, dual tracked vocals, flashes of keyboards, guitar solos, it's old school punk with pop flashes.  They do find some polictical or teenage angst as well, the song 'N.I.G.G.A. (Not Okay)' is exactly what you think it's about.  And, the fact that it's from teenagers makes it even better.

But seiously, the whole just started playing charade is bullshit.  I'm guessing the brothers have been playing together in the basement for some time.  Long enough to know how to bash out clever punk tunes, but not old enough to hide their musicality.  I'm going out and stating the debut full length is going to be leaps and bounds beyond the screamers here.  It'll probably be brilliant, too.  But, this EP will always be a good punk throwback; a reference point.  Think of the jump the band At The Drive-In made from their basement punk debut to In/Casiono/Out.  The Strokes from musical obscurity to starting a genre of fashion punk.  Or, the Refused's Euro-Hardcore to the blistering neo-Punk of the Shape of Punk to Come.  It's going to be something epic and big.

N.I.G.G.A. (Not Okay)
Already on Later w/ Jools Holland, really?

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