The name may sound like a trio of suburban fathers who move the people-carrier from the garage on Sundays so they have room for a Deep Purple jam session, in reality Radical Dads will make you think of the bands you used to like from the nineties. Wearing their influences on their sleeve the band recently released the rather good Mega Rama, an enjoyable combination of declaratory vocals, reverberating guitar echoes and punk rock-meets pop-sensibilities. Yet when they bring their gen-x nostalgia to Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium (a tiny club rather than its famous namesake), they find themselves largely outdone by the support acts.
Taking to the stage after The Hairs, School Knights and Grand Rapids they fail to make much of an impact on the sweating, lethargic crowd. It may not be totally their fault – by this point the venue is a damp-walled furnace, with lead vocalist Lindsay Baker thanking the crowd for “sweating it out for us”. While Chris Diken’s guitar and Robbie Guertin’s (Clap Your Hands And Say Yeah) drums are pitched just right, Baker’s vocals are too subdued. You just need to listen to Mega Rama to know she can sing, but here her lyrics are drowned out by her bandmates. A pity then, especially given the moments of brilliance they achieve when they bring out the likes of ‘Alondra Rainbow Under Attack’ and ‘New Age Dinosaur’, but tonight the Radical Dads misfire.
Instead the highlight of the night comes in the shape of newcomers The Hairs, who blast through a quick, but surprisingly decent set of scratchily fuzzy, loose noise pop that one moment sounds like Waaves covering twee pop and the next minute The Pains of Being Pure At Heart having a go at punk. The Brooklyn trio have new EP called Kool Gawd out on Magic Marker Records. We’re off to check it out. You should do too.