Punk rock is hard to define. Much like Art, you know it when you see it. Radkey played a raucous set at Saint Vitus Bar. The opening acts were local Brooklyn bands Top Nachos and Darkwing. Top Nachos are a fun duo who I would see again. They made me laugh a lot and high kicked their way into my heart. Darkwing are a larger, heavier affair than Top Nachos. They play a grunge-y, garage-y kind of rock, and are pretty damned good at it.
But I was there for Radkey. Unconcerned with anything but rocking your face right the hell off, the three brothers from St. Joseph, Missouri ripped through their set effortlessly and the crowd was there for it. Bassist Isaiah is a flurry of activity, dancing, jumping and going feet up into a bicycle kick. Singer and guitarist Dee cuts an impressive silhouette striking rockstar poses and banging his dreads while delivering an impressive vocal performance. Drummer Solomon hits so naturally and switches gears so smoothly it’s almost like he isn’t moving at all. It’s safe to say they are having a blast on stage.
Lots has been said about Radkey's classic sound but the thing that stands out after that are the songs. They always leave you wanting a little bit more in a good way. They have just the right mix of grit and pop. Their 2015 debut is one of my favorite punk releases of the last few years that isn’t a PUP record. After the show, while waiting in line for a t-shirt, a guy from Queens in a Rangers hat said “these kids give me hope that punk rock might survive another fifteen years.” Radkey are touring in support of their latest LP “No Strange Cats… P.A.W.,” a brief but meaty release full of hooks made to be shouted in dark bars.
Check them out on tour now. Only you can help punk rock survive another fifteen years.
Photo's and review by Billy Devine