Radioactivity, Bad Sports, Dumpster Babies | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.

Radioactivity, Bad Sports, Dumpster Babies 

When: Sat., June 18, 9 p.m. 2016
Price: $10
Radioactivity, a relatively new band from the incestuous rock scene in Denton, Texas, play garage punk wound so tight it probably glows in the dark. Front man and chief songwriter Jeff Burke used to be in the Marked Men, who split in 2009 after four top-notch albums; a few years later Mark Ryan, also of the Marked Men, joined him in Radioactivity alongside two-thirds of Bad Sports, Daniel Fried and Gregory Rutherford. Wherever he goes, Burke takes his perfectionism and attention to detail with him—lots of folks think garage punk is supposed to be dumb and simple, but his bands prove just how much craft and intelligence this boneheaded genre can absorb without ceasing to be itself. On Radioactivity’s most recent album, last year’s Silent Kill (Dirtnap), Burke’s strained, urgent singing, undiluted by his bandmates’ occasional sweet backup vocals, perfectly complements the taut riffs—even the lyrical midtempo numbers thrum with nervous energy. I especially like the thoughtful embellishments and convolutions in the bass; it doesn’t just move from one note to the next in a straight line. You might be tempted to call this “power pop” rather than “garage punk,” due to the high concentration of melodic and harmonic information in the otherwise stripped-down songs. But I think the word “garage” fits just fine—in most garages, no matter how dirty they are, you’ll find precision-engineered parts machined to within a thousandth of an inch.
— Philip Montoro
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