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Radical Dads - Mega Rama Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 7
Musicianship 7
Lyrics 7
Production 7
Creativity 7
Lasting Value 7
Reviewer Tilt 7
Final Verdict: 70%
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Radical Dads - Mega Rama

Reviewed by: blue_light_888 (11/14/11)
Radical Dads - Mega Rama
Record Label: Uninhabitable Mansions
Release Date: June 14, 2011

As an avid music fan, I have a tendency to dissect everything that I hear until itís become broken up into a million tiny meaningless bits. The temptation is always thereóafter all, my opinion is worth nil unless I can back it up, right? But I donít think I can do it this time (and hereís where a long, streaming list of confessions comes pouring out). Iím no expert on the subjects of 90ís revival and rock music, both of which Brooklyn trio Radical Dads claim to fit into. Iím about as qualified as that pinhead in your bio class who wonít ever shut up about Katy Perry or Ke$ha or whateverís blowing up on the radio these days. Ultimately, Iím just a guy whoís stuck in high school and loves music for that simple reason that it fills me up with feelings Iím just beginning to grasp. There you have it: Mega Rama makes me happy. If I canít be professional, I have to at least be honest.

Coming in at a breezy 9 tracks and 31 minutes, Mega Rama is a light listen all the way through, but the brevity only serves to underline its festiveness. Save the penultimate track, every track is packed with jangly guitars, dynamic rhythm, and an abstract feeling that weíre stuck in this createspace this band has created for us. (The toned yet ever-so-slightly murky production capitalizes on this feeling to immerse us fully.) Sure, opener Little Tombs may not be polished to a shine, but that scratchiness only adds to its charm: itís a joyful ball of energy that wins you over by its sheer playfulness before it grabs your hand and takes you into deeper waters. And once youíre in the deep end, itís going to be hard to swim out.

As we venture further into the eye of the storm, though, the band explores some rougher terrain; the hilariously named Alondra Rainbow Under Attack utilizes harder guitar lines and more frantic drums, while Walking Wires comes very close to Foo Fighters territory, filtered through a screen of clouds. Even the lyrics, intimately sweet at the start of the album, begin showing traces of arsenic amidst all the sugar, and the contrast works eerily well.

We reach daylight again when we reach No New Faces, a wistful letter to lost love that almost segues right into Harvest Artist. These two tracks dovetail nicely, as the latter is the messy yang to the former's moody yin. Coming right on its tail is Hurricane, an epic compressed into five minutes, and itís this track that ends up making the best case for Radical Dadsí skill in creating jubilant catharsis. Witness the band sets off all the firecrackers they have in one all-or-nothing moment, painting a sparse night sky in bright greens and oranges. ďItís just a hurricane coming,Ē croons vocalist Robbie Guertin as the track peters out, and we realize heís right; weíve just made it through the worst of the storm, and weíre still standing.

Mega Rama is not a critical darling. Sadly, itíll slip by the gazes of most major music publications. And yet, thereís a vitality to the work that transcends its obscurity. Even without the consensus of all the dorks over at Metacritic, it can still reach over to some kid in a far off corner of the world and put a smile on his face. And in the end, isnít that small moment of unbridled happiness what musicís all about?

7/10

Recommended If You LikeClap Your Hands Say Yeah, festival rock, Hellogoodbye


Track Listing1. Little Tomb
2. New Age Dinosaur
3. Recklessness
4. Alondra Rainbow Under Attack
5. Walking Wires
6. No New Faces
7. Harvest Artist
8. Hurricane
9. Tide's Out

running time: 30:46

http://www.myspace.com/newerbetterfathers
 
Displaying posts 1 - 5 of 5
08:24 AM on 11/21/11
#2
Holly HoX!
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Thanks for reviewing this. It's going to go unnoticed but it's one of my favorite releases of the year. I'm glad I found them. Claps Your Hands are obviously the shit, but Uninhibitable Mansions are also really really good.
06:48 AM on 11/22/11
#3
blue_light_888
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Thanks for reviewing this. It's going to go unnoticed but it's one of my favorite releases of the year. I'm glad I found them. Claps Your Hands are obviously the shit, but Uninhibitable Mansions are also really really good.

No prob. I had never heard of this band before I reviewed this, but this was a really charming album.
I've also never heard of the Uninhibitable Mansions label before; do you care to share any recs?
07:17 AM on 11/22/11
#4
Holly HoX!
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No prob. I had never heard of this band before I reviewed this, but this was a really charming album.
I've also never heard of the Uninhibitable Mansions label before; do you care to share any recs?

Never knew they had a label - I know the band of the same name whose member(s) are in this band. Pretty sure they just have one self-titled. Check out the song "Speed is Deceiving"
08:06 PM on 11/23/11
#5
blue_light_888
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Never knew they had a label - I know the band of the same name whose member(s) are in this band. Pretty sure they just have one self-titled. Check out the song "Speed is Deceiving"

I like it, but the fact that there is WHISTLING in the song (my weakness!!) bumps it up a little. Pretty chill song :)
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