After an appearance at Download Festival and a very successful headline show in London, it’s hard to believe that Radkey is a band formed of three teenage brothers from Missouri. Dee, Isaiah and Solomon Radke have been on a lot of people’s lips this year – not just because they’re so young, but because they’re very talented too! With the release of their Cat & Mouse EP, it’s time for the world to pay attention to Radkey.
Growing up on a diet of Hendrix, Misfits, Iron Maiden and many more, the group’s eclectic collection of inspiration shines through from the offset – not just regurgitated and repeated, but geared towards their strengths. The Radkes have already found their own voice and this definitely shines through on this five track offering. The aggressive ‘Cat & Mouse’ gets us off to a great start, with a simple riff dancing around Dee’s interesting vocals. His smooth yet surprising tone juxtaposes the raucous backing in excellent fashion, and definitely grabs our attention.
‘Out Here In My Head’ picks up the pace slightly and brings with it a positive vibe in the form of an extremely catchy and repetitive chorus, while ‘Pretty Things’ again flaunts their punchy style and sees them experiment a bit with tempo. Their technical skill is fantastic and the group know how to put together a great track, but at this halfway point we’re left asking what else can these boys do? They already seem to be slipping into some sort of pattern and while the outcome is always brilliant, on the whole it causes us to have a bit of déjà vu.
Keeping quite formulaic (but nonetheless enjoyable) is ‘Red Letter’. Boasting one of the biggest and best choruses of the EP, Dee’s vocals continue to impress with power and maturity beyond his years. ‘N.I.G.G.A. (Not Okay)’ closes the EP on a definite high, and it appears as though the Radke boys saved the best for last! With more fast and furious action, the track features a wailing guitar solo and plenty of sing/shout along moments, making it a firm favourite at HTF HQ!
Putting the EP into context and remembering that it’s been created by three self-taught teenage boys, it is absolutely brilliant and a fantastic foundation to build upon. With great skill already, we hope the boys can hone their abilities to put forward a slightly more diverse release in the future.
Reviewer: Freya Cochrane