Agony Shorthand

Monday, March 14, 2005
RADIO BEATS : "READY TO SHAKE" CD....Two parts good news, one part bad on this brand new release from West Virginia garagecore speed freaks The RADIO BEATS. Good news is the pummeling, all-guns-blazing sound that pinned me to the carpet on their debut EP is still there -- just super overloaded, raw-as-nails punk rock. Imagine if THE FIX or NEGATIVE APPROACH survived through the 80s & 90s to end up as a snotty-assed garage band & kept their teenage frustration & bile intact. That's these guys. The guitarist picked the perfect amp & cords for this sound & his riffs come on like a friggin' train wreck. Their vocalist also has a tough, volcanic set of pipes, much like the crooners from the aforementioned hardcore heavyweights. I know that many discriminating and intelligent rock fans turn their back on the exciting bumper crop of garage shit, which is a goddamn shame, but I think I know why. It can be dumber than dumb, and these gentlemen are prime offenders. First, the record's titled "Ready To Shake". Ridiculous. Second, I've been privately calling the more moronic garage punk acts "Uh-c'mon bay-buh!" bands for years, cuz that seems to be a very popular lyric shared by the worst, and here it is, track #10, "Baby, C'mon!". Other titles include "Rock With You Tonight" (fuck yeah!) and "See You Die" (uh oh!). But since the lightning-quick blurring action of the music obscures most of the lyrics, I'm usually able to look away, and once again rest easy. I'm not sure if this is officially in the racks yet, but if you're a connoisseur of lowbrow Americana and the rarefied "Horizontal Action" ethos, these young fellas might be your new favorite band.