Radkey – Dark Black Makeup

It’s not every day your average family gets to take a tour across Europe and the U.S. playing music together, but it is for the brothers Radke. St. Joseph, Missouri natives Solomon, Isaiah, and Dee Radke formed a band before any of them were even old enough to vote. With the release of two promising EPs, Radkey had gained enormous amounts of positive attention from critics and fellow musicians alike, playing with big name bands like Drenge, Titus Andronicus and The Offspring as well as playing major festivals like Afropunk, Coachella, and South by Southwest. After all of this hype, the band was still very young and without a proper debut album. As a trio of brothers with the music world’s anticipation on their backs, they discovered a way to not only avoid disappointment, but exceed expectations.radkey-dark-black-makeup

Dark Black Makeup very well could be one of the most impressive debut records of this year. Bringing influences from the 1980s punk scene, lead vocalist Dee Radke has often been compared to a young Glenn Danzig of the Misfits. Despite the uncanny similarities between the sonic qualities of these two vocalists, Radkey is not a Misfits reincarnation, but rather an entirely new and growing entity of their own. Radkey is both the future and the past, in a sonically paradoxical sort of way. Their sound is not quite garage, not quite punk, but a delightful mix of both. Rock and roll needed these brothers to bring back what seems to have taken a backseat to being hip and in-the-now: a fearless approach to the simple act of rocking. Energy, urgency, and carefree guitar riffs scream out alongside hammering bass and pummeling drums. Lyrically, Radkey explores ideas of love and the feelings of loss and despair while still incorporating plenty of “na na nas” and “oohs” and “ahs” that tend to lighten the mood of the album. However, Dark Black Makeup takes a more somber turn on “Hunger Pain.” There is a certain emotional elevation that stirs the listener to bear some of the heartbreak in Dee’s voice as he sings, “…could it be just you and I? No? I’ll just feed until I die.” After “Hunger Pain,” Radkey explores insecurities in an honest way that is almost a little funny. Perhaps funny isn’t the best word you might use to describe it, but “Song of Solomon” somehow has a way of making the listener crack a smile, if not because of its upbeat sound, but because it’s a relatable story of self awareness.

Maybe what makes this record so great is the shared experience between its young and talented musicians, having literally grown up together. Maybe it is the variety of influences either forced upon or accepted by them, having been homeschooled just up the road from here in a small pink house in St. Joseph, Missouri. Regardless, these brothers have already made a name for themselves in an over-saturated music industry, and they still have a long career ahead of them.

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Classroom Series – Arc Flash and Psychic Heat


On Thursday, September 24th, Arc Flash and Psychic Heat kicked off the first Classroom Series event of the semester in KSDB’s McCain studios. Both bands hail from Lawrence and embarked on a national tour together soon after leaving MHK. Space punk duo Arc Flash are currently filling in for the rhythm section of Psychic Heat, playing bass guitar and drums. This event was the first time the two bands had played together and the concert in Aggieville that followed the broadcast was the first official stop on the bands’ tour to New York and back. At Aggie Station, Arc Flash and Psychic Heat performed to a large and welcoming crowd, and good vibes were had by all. For more information about both bands, visit their Facebook and Bandcamp pages:

Arc Flash Facebook – Arc Flash Bandcamp – Psychic Heat Facebook – Psychic Heat Bandcamp

For more information on upcoming KSDB events, visit our events page.

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New Music Monday – August 17, 2015

“Reversal” from Gangrene

This week at KSDB there are more quality records rotating for your listening pleasure, and this week brings somewhat of a #throwback with the reissue of a fantastic album from The Reatards. Grown Up, F*cked Up was originally released in 1999, and ultimately foreshadowed Jay Reatard’s cocaine overdose in 2010. The album is a collection of scuzzy garage-punk tracks that channels influences from punk pioneers of the late 1970’s. It’s sort of like listening to your Dad’s favorite Ramones record while you’re just trying to play Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2.

The Alchemist and Oh No have had incredible success these last few years. When the two producers decide to team up, they refer to themselves as Gangrene. In 2013, they scored the soundtrack to Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V, and worked with talents such as A$AP Ferg, Killer Mike, Phantogram. This week they released their newest full length entitled Reversal. It’s an industrial rap adventure that shows off the sampling prowess of the two MCs. If they only worked together a bit more often, they could really hone their talent and have something special.

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New Music Monday – August 10, 2015

In 2015, it is a rare occurrence to find a proto-punk record as scuzzy and defiantly poised as Pain from the Australian rockers in Deaf Wish presents itself as. The latest endeavor from the veteran band thrusts them into the limelight, deaf wishputting out their most recent album on SubPop. Pain clocks in at around half an hour, and it doesn’t need to be a minute longer. It has the shrill croons and aggression of bands like The Stooges and Dead Kennedy’s while also maintaining a vibe reminiscent of Husker Du and Sonic Youth. The end result is something very dissonant and charming. It’s not your run-of-the-mill garage punk record, but if you’re in the mood for something with a little grungy flavor, this is a release you don’t want to miss out on.
Also out this week is the latest album from The Fratelli’s. Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied is the fourth full-length from the Scottish lads who have experienced both ups and downs in the world of alt-rock since the mid-2000’s. Overall, the record falls a little short in comparison to recent favorites from comparable bands like Arctic Monkeys, but individual tracks here definitely have their merit. Listen to “Baby, Don’t You Lie to Me!”, “Getting Surreal”, and “Too Much Wine” before you pour yourself a full glass of this album.
This week, KSDB made it a priority to freshen up our hip hop rotation, and it was a good week to do so between new singles from Drake, and of course the newest album from one of the best there ever was. Legendary west coast producer/rapper Dr. Dre has finally abandoned the long awaited Detox and produced a new album, coinciding with the release of the N.W.A. biopic this Friday. It’s not a half-assed cash grab. Compton is an ambitious and challenging album, and hits more than it misses. It features contributions Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Marsha Ambrosius, BJ the Chicago Kid and others.compton
YG’s My Krazy Life was a refreshingly straight forward gangster rap album. He’ll try to keep those good vibes going with a sequel album, Still Krazy, to be released later this year. The lead single, however, is quite the left turn when compared to the Mustard produced debut album. YG employs producer Terrace Martin (To Pimp a Butterfly), who brings “King Kunta” style G-Funk production to the new track. It works. YG may be proving to be more of a chameleon than we initially realized.

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