New music reviews: Radkey and Chvrches

Radkey, the young brotherly trio who hail from Missouri, make no attempts at hiding their influences on their debut album Dark Black Makeup. Smooth, sexy, soulful punk rock, these guys do an admirable job matching the sonic fury of the bands they attempt to emulate – Glenn Danzig-era The Misfits, Black Flag and Bad Brains. At the very least these guys have great taste.

With a sound almost as interesting as their backstory – they dropped out of school after only one year, were home schooled by their mother and chose their father to manage their careers – Radkey’s music sounds as if it is informed only by 80s’ punk, comic books, and slasher flicks.

While horribly derivative at times – seriously, what the hell is with that opening to the track “Le Song” which they totally crib from the intro to My Chemical Romance’s “Na Na Na” – Dark Black Makeup is a debut that demands your attention. Musicians this young and who possess such raw talent can only look forward to greatness.

Incessantly catchy as always, Scottland’s Chvrches knocks it out of the park yet again with “Clearest Blue,” the latest single from their long-awaited new album, Every Open Eye.

The band plays it smart, refusing to stray from the qualities that brought them commercial and critical success – undulating synths, crackling digital drum beats, and, of course, the sweetly saccharine singing of frontwoman Lauren Mayberry. The track is gloriously repetitive, lulling listeners into a sort of contemplative trance before suddenly exploding into a bombastic middle section which will leave many unsure if they should continue navel gazing or start dancing around their bedroom like a loon.

If the rest of Every Open Eye is as good as “Clearest Blue,” Chvrches needn’t fear a sophomore slump.

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