Radkey are three brothers – Dee, Isaiah and Solomon Radke (geddit?) – hailing from St Joseph, Missouri. The teenage trio are bursting onto the UK scene with their debut EP, Cat & Mouse, and promise us some mega afro-punk noise.
On first listen it’s easy to hear the obvious punk influences running through the tracks, with inventors of punk-rock the Ramones clearly guiding and inspiring this EP, with elements of The Stooges, New York Dolls and even a dash of Brit punks The Clash woven in. Basically, if you like your guitars crunching and your drums thrashing, well, you’re in luck here!
Although Cat & Mouse is the lead track for this release, the far and away best tracks on the EP are Out Here In My Head and Red Letter. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with the former, or that it’s necessarily a bad track – in fact it has a pretty great guitar solo on it – but it just lacks a certain something that the other two don’t. With both Out Here In My Head and Red Letter offering repetitive, catchy choruses and growling, angry vocals from Dee Radke, not to mention a racing tempo that makes you want to lose your mind and vent all frustration, both tracks hold hope for more great things from Radkey. They also remind us that punk-rock is not dead, it’s just evolving for a new generation.
Tackling racial and social issues in N.I.G.G.A, it’s hard to believe this band of brothers are actually all still in their teens. It’s also hard to ignore the message with the great chant ‘Hey! Go! You know it’s not okay.’ And with major ‘woahs’, harmonies and a deadly riff on Pretty Things, it’s easy to think these boys have been crafting their art for years – not releasing their debut EP.
The Cat & Mouse EP shows great promise for Radkey, with a small collection of already great songs they are a band for fans of the old school punk rock as well as newer bands like Cerebral Ballzy. The amount of anger, frustration, drum-bashing and general noise-making that goes on throughout this 5-track effort only begs the one question: how great would it be to see, hear and feel this live?