Live Review: Radkey

King Tuts – 28/2

While some of the line-up may not be old enough to buy a pint or recall some of their musical influences first-hand, Radkey certainly pack a punch. Hailing from St Joseph, Missouri, the trio of brothers revitalise eighties punk and hardcore, with infectious choruses and a relentless set list full of three-minute songs that remind you of being fourteen and pretending you’re enjoying the mosh-pit when you really just want a sit down and an ice-pack for your jaw.

Each brother has his own unique stage persona- Isaiah on bass, who jumps around like he’s been electrocuted and provides offbeat one-liners between songs- dedicating “Red Letter” to haggis- vocalist and guitarist Dee, remaining still and intense, and Solomon the drummer, a 15-year-old that puts the 23-year-old former drummers to shame. Their onstage chemistry is apparent throughout and adds to the dynamic of their whole performance.

Their set list is relatively short and packed with most tracks from their first three EPs. Highlights included “Pretty Things,” a track that allowed them to show off their tight tempo changes, “Star Freaking Out” and “Little Man.” The most notable aspect of their live performance is Dee’s vocals, which are incredible and unlike anything you’re likely to hear from a teenage punk band, almost crooning over the heavy guitar riffs. Sonically they are reminiscent of bands like Misfits, The Damned and even heavier Fishbone, but they exude a real youthful energy and use it to cultivate their own distinct sound.

With songs that are instantly memorable and an authentic chemistry amongst the trio, Radkey may be the latest in long line of uber-talented teenage critical darlings (The Strypes, The Orwells) but they certainly stand out, and are essential for anyone into punk and 80s metal. Or Hanson.

[Jonny Stone]

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