Album Review: Radkey’s Devil Fruit EP

Photo Credit: Phil Knott

Radkey

Devil Fruit EP

Little Man Records

Release Date: October 15, 2013

Track Listing

  1. Romance Dawn
  2. Little Man
  3. Start Freaking Out
  4. Overwhelmed

Radkey is a Missouri-based sibling trio who recently relocated to the UK, and upon their arrival won the attention of bloggers, journalists and radio personalities across the pond with the release of their Cat & Mouse EP. They gained even more attention after playing blistering and incendiary sets at several UK-based festivals. With the release of the Devil Fruit EP, which Little Man Records released last October, the trio of Dee Radkey (vocals and guitar), Isaiah Radkey (bass and vocals) and Solomon Radkey (drums) hope to take over the States and the rest of the world with a sound that’s heavily influenced by the likes of the Ramones, Death, and Danzig. And thanks to a four song EP that consists of Dee Radkey singing with a Glenn Danzig-like baritone croon, stomping drums, and sludgy guitar chords the trio will likely be compared to their influences but the more erudite audiophile among us will notice that the songs on Devil Fruit sometimes bear a complexity that belie it’s seemingly simple structure. “Romance Dawn,” the EP opener and first single slowly churns its way to an intense, fist-pumping climax, and an impressive guitar solo. “Little Man” bears a resemblance to the Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop” and to the Misfits with a decent solo, and an impressive sense of melody. “Start Freaking Out” bears a resemblance to the Ramones’ “Cretin Hop” or to the MisfitsMommy Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight?” in the sense that they’re all blistering, rapid fire songs that create the impression that the band’s van was double parked, and they had to record a single before the traffic cop gave them a ticket. Album closer “Overwhelmed” thrashes and slashes its way to its inevitable conclusion but much like “Romance Dawn” has a subtle level of complexity that belie a simple nature – you’ll actually notice a brief bridge or a brief refrain that’s hammered out, along with playful changes in tone.

   Granted, what Radkey has done here isn’t particularly new. If you grew up going to punk shows and to hardcore shows, you’ve likely heard what Radkey has done about a million times before, and they do it extremely well; however, what it might remind you is of a key fact of several genres – punk rock is generally for the young and knuckleheaded. Certainly, for those unfamiliar with punk’s history or getting into punk for the first time, this is the album that will have you moshing and stomping shit out. And in some way if you’re older, I’m sure it’ll bring back some memories of the sweaty basements and shitty bars you saw bands in.