The tags on Radical Dads‘ Bandcamp page arguably say it all: “indie rock” and “Brooklyn.” Taken together, it would be incredibly easy to automatically pigeonhole the trio of Lindsay Baker, Robbie Guertin, and Chris Diken into the heavily derivative, lo-fi mass of bands that Brooklyn can not seem to stop producing. That would not be quite fair, though, as Radical Dads’ full-length debut, Mega Rama, proves to be a diamond in the rough–a passionately created record that reveals more complexity and things to be excited about with each listen.
Although primarily characterized by distorted guitar and sunny melodies, Radical Dads also successfully venture into shoegazey territory and the grimiest of ’90s rock throughout the course of Mega Rama‘s nine tracks, creating a fresh sound from a slew of influences. The album’s second offering, “New Age Dinosaur”, serves as a manifesto of sorts, with lyrical taunts like “I don’t think so, I know so/This is the future.” Luckily, standout tracks such as “Recklessness”, with its intricate guitar work, and the anthemic “Walking Wires”, with its pounding drums, fully back the playful arrogance. Each song toys with different tempos and styles, all of which are meticulously crafted and well-executed. Thorough listens prove Guertin to be the album’s unsung hero, as his intricate drumming is often overshadowed by the massive wall of guitars, making Mega Rama even more rewarding than face value already suggests.
In addition to featuring catchy, well-crafted songs, the most refreshing aspect of Mega Rama is the sheer amount of energy and enthusiasm it exudes, as each of Radical Dads’ three members perform with every ounce of emotion and power they can muster. This is particularly noticeable on “Harvest Artist”, which leans into punk territory with its driving percussion and rapid guitar work. Its animalistic, manic cries and nearly shouting vocals are frenetic and exhausting, but they leave the listener only wanting more. “Tide’s Out” serves as a perfect conclusion to Mega Rama. Its blown-out guitar and the repetition of “We went on, we went on, we went on” make it awfully difficult to not go on and go on and push play again. The energy and quality of this record are nothing short of addicting–indicative of a promising future for a young band.