St. Joseph “Garage/Punkers” Radkey have just released their debut album “Dark Black Make Up”. We at Rock Regeneration are gonna pick through the bones of this record. The LP opens with the title track, a bouncy number with an interesting vocal style. A song that explodes in the chorus but said vocal remains clear and audible throughout. There’s more than a hint of Glam (to this reviewer) but the wholesome guitars and bass come to the fore, aligned to a heavy drumbeat on this splendid opener. “Romance Dawn” is even heavier with its “Hey Hey Now’s” in the opening verse and throughout. It’s a belter of a track with more than a healthy nod towards “The Von Bondies”. One imagines this to be an opening track live and easily a crowd pleaser with its singalong chorus. The middle 8 is huge, mellowing out only briefly before those power drums and heavy chords kick back in.

“Love Spills” again hints at Glam and is another solid track on this collection, while the mid-section harks back to 70’s Classic Rock. Simple lyrically and musically it however works. “Parade It” stays in the same vein and once more reminds me of The Von Bondies. Clangy guitars take centre stage alongside more pounding drums.

“Best Friends” takes the tempo down somewhat which keeps this collection fresh. I’m hearing a touch of “Joey Ramone” in the vocal while the “stretched” chord sequence in the bridge is great. The ending keeps one guessing but is clever in its simplicity! “Le Song” returns the power with the anthemic “Na Na Na Na’s” at the beginning. One can imagine huge, energetic moshpits singing every word back to them in the live arena! The noodly middle 8 breaks it up only briefly before those vocals kick in once again.

“Hunger Pain” again shows their gentler, more melodic side. Dare I suggest it’s a “love song” of sorts? “Feed My Brain” however opens with a superb guitar intro before the drums kick in. An ode to a teacher or mentor the lyrics are both emotional and heartfelt. The chiming guitars sit gently behind a now strong, powerful vocal. The story’s telling honesty makes me wonder if this is a semi-autobiographical song or just one of a clever lyricist. You the listener must decide!


‘Sank’ is bass heavy with more chunky guitars and some heavy symbol hitting. There’s really not a lot else to say although I love the ending. ‘Song of Solomon’ retreats back to that now trademark Radkey sound. It’s possibly the most Punk song on here and is simply excellent. Big, big hitting and huge chords jostle for attention; allied to a passionate, anthemic vocal.

“Evil Doer” has Punk guitars and a dirty R ‘n R vibe in the vocal. “Horror Punk” with a chiming guitar bridge – you just don’t hear the big finish coming! “Glore” is pure Hardcore Punk at its fastest and not lost on here – there are so many influences going on it’s difficult at times to know where they are gonna go next. The noodling to the end is frenetic and fades to nothing.

“Feel” closes the LP almost as it began, powerful in places with strong guitars, powerful drums and a confident vocal. To sum up this is a decent enough debut and certainly one that would make this reviewer press the repeat button. One may not be hearing anything new particularly, but Radkey join a growing number of bands trying their damnedest to escape genre’s. Yes there are influences, but they take them and run with them.

Band Members
Dee Radke – Guitar/Vocals
Isaiah J. Radke III – Bass/Vocals
Solomon Radke – Drums

Track Listing
Dark Black Makeup
Romance Dawn
Love Spills
Parade It
Best Friends
Le Song
Hunger Pain
Feed My Brain
Song of Solomon
Evil Doer


Review by Ross A. Ferrone

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