Every now and again, I’m introduced to a band through a support slot or an online recommendation and I find myself genuinely embarrassed that I hadn’t stumbled upon them before. Recently, this took the form of the Peterborough based post-hardcore act, Radicus. Sitting somewhere between Set Your Goals and Alexisonfire, they have an upbeat and fun quality to their music that proves to be almost unbearably infectious. With pop-mosh acts such as A Day to Remember more often being the order of the day with young gig-goers, Radicus are hard to place, but a real breath of fresh air.
Radicus’ 2010 album The Bigger Noise should really be required listening for anyone who likes their music loud, bouncy and fun. Take the album opener, Family Fortunes; the Against Me!-esque frenetic energy pushes along the vocal lines into peaks of fist-pumping harmonies. The vocal stylings are distinctly punk, but stay on the cleaner side of the road. That is until oDeJay God kicks in, when harmonies go into overdrive, and ferocity gets pumped up to a new level thanks to the inclusion of Phil Barker – vocalist in TwoBeatsOff favourite, We Are Fiction. oDeJay God is by far the stand-out track on the album; anthemic and frenetic with moments designed for throwing yourself into a stranger at a gig. My Legacy (The History to Come) takes a far different tack. While guitar riffs and drumsticks fall fast and sudden, like some upturned Jenga set, the whole tone is far more serious and genuine. Unaccompanied, yelled, sentiments are delivered so very punk-esque that it hurts. The Spark II however, takes the band back to a far more Americanised tone, with all the delivery and dynamism of a young Sum 41. Regardless of this, the repetitive chorus and simplistic vocal breaks are a mark of genius, born of fist-bumping and the suggestion of pits. 2 Legit 2 Quit is probably the most uninspiring song on the album; that’s not to say that it lacks merit, but it bears few notable differences from Radicus’ general sound. The bassline however is one of the heaviest on the album, juddering through the punk sensabilities like a greased juggernaut. MVP is a real ‘filler’ track in the nicest way possible. It’s thickly layered, manic and a blueprint for the perfect song to get an audience jumping. Business As Usual (BAU)’s climbing guitars and throbbing drums provide one of the greatest instrumentals on the entire album. Lyricism and vocal delivery aside, the riffs are what makes it as catchy as herpes in a dockside whorehouse. The album concludes with Let them Try, a more punk inspired offering with enough gang vocals to satisfy the most attention-starved listener.
With understandably low production costs and a commendable do-it-yourself attitude, Radicus are a band that are easy to respect and even easier to adore. If only they could manage to snare a wider listenership, I’ve no doubt that they’d achieve a far higher and much deserved level of recognition – one that they completely deserve.
4 out of 5 high fives!