Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
Two of the greatest feelings are turning your amp up as loud as it can go and just letting it wail out of your, without remorse, and the other is running as rapidly down a steep hill, out of control, and not falling and busting your face into big, broken pieces. Performing the former and not having to be airlifted to the hospital is an amazing thing and something that everyone should get good at, though that's the tricky part. There might not be anything like freewheeling down a dangerous slope, feeling the body losing all of its balance, tilted deadly forward, and then getting to the point where the hill bottoms out and still feeling that momentum carry you another two hundred feet, moving across the ground faster than your puny legs could ever take you across the ground through their own ambition and muscle. New York band the Radical Dads dip their toes into both of these sensations and insist upon putting them into their music the way a syringe gets that jelly into those doughnuts. The guitar sounds that they bring are brawny and those that you might expect to find scattered on the filthy floor of a teenage boy who wastes way too much of his nights staying up playing video games or trolling the Internet for unreleased bootleg recordings of Guided By Voices and My Bloody Valentine in proportionate numbers, you know, stealing things from the Internet. These riffs used to be lying down there with stinky tube socks and holey sneakers, but they're perfectly good riffs that - if played through the right kind of amp, sparked and hot - could bring all kinds of both impressed and annoyed phone calls to the police department with people reporting a noise disturbance in the neighborhood. We know they're not all dads, as Lindsay Baker in on guitar and vocals (the rest of the band of longtime friends is made up of guitarist/singer Chris Diken and drummer Robbie Guertin - also of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah fame), but they're all big kids at heart, seemingly encouraging others to enjoy the impact whenever the end of the world comes to a head. Without necessarily saying it, Radical Dads are about not letting oneself get sucked into the rut of having to be so fucking serious all the time. It's perfectly alright to go streaking and it's the same to get onto a stage and just play a bunch of power chords, shred a little in front of whomever will show up that night. It's for them and no one else. They'll play in a hailstorm and they'll play in the bloody heat. As a matter of fact, they'll make their own bloody heat.