It’s been a while since I’ve written a post on anything sent directly to the tympanogram inbox, but I mark my return as a child of the inbox with by introducing Brooklyn trio Radical Dads.
The charmingly named group (who apparently do all have rather radical paternal stories to tell) is comprised of vocalist/guitarist Lindsay Baker, drummer Robbie Guertin (former guitarist of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Poor guys, this is one of those things that’s gonna be mentioned in every into piece for the next few months. Oh well. Gotta give the people what they want) and second guitarist Chris Diken. The trio first met at college in the late 1990s where they formed a band but eventually split. Having drifted their separate ways for a few years, the friends reunited in New York recently and everything just fell into place.
They recall the classic kind of late 80s/early 90s alt. rock which Yuck have been plundering of late – Sonic Youth, Pixies etc. But these guys don’t go about it with the same shiftless, slacker aesthetic that’s drawn so much criticism onto Yuck. There’s some real poppy punch behind the fuzz. Given the vast amount of recent guitar bands who have been described with terms like “fuzzy,” “dreamy” and “blissed out,” one may be excused for believing that Radical Dads are just another sub-par, post-Best Coast indie pop band, moping around in battered plaid shirts and sighing disinterestedly about metaphorical surfboards. Big mistake. For a start, they’re a New York band. Second, these guys are a full decade older than the lazy hipsters making up that majority of that kind of “scene.”
Their track “New Age Dinosaur” is quite distinct from the wealth of lo-fi indie pop around. It’s a track about California, but instead of taking hackneyed inspiration from “the beach,” it’s inspired by things like the La Brea Tar Pits, which help to make California a strange composite of past, present and future. Also, the group aren’t afraid to pack a punch, and Lindsay Baker’s vocals build into a kick-ass climax. It’s so refreshing to hear a 2010s lo-fi group who aren’t afraid of a soaring melody or some real sharp instrumentation. It really reminds me of Sonic Youth at their crispest, most precise moments on Daydream Nation.
The band’s debut album Mega Rama is due out June 14th via Uninhabitable Mansions. Given the amount of local music sources that band have been appearing in, I won’t be surprised if it gets a strong reception. Based on what I’ve heard, they’d certainly deserve it.
Radical Dads // New Age Dinosaur [mp3] from the forthcoming Mega Rama