REVIEW: V/A – “Radio Dick Vol. 1”

By Dan Century

Chain Border

Radio DickNot to discourage you from buying this CD, but for whatever reason it would not play in my computer CD drives (at home or work) so I had to find a CD player that would play the CD. My home stereo worked fine, but it will be a cold day in hell before I sit in front of a stereo, listen to a CD, take notes and then type up a review. My car stereo also worked, so I got the idea to record my thoughts about the album while driving 75 miles per hour, dodging New Yorkers and soccer moms cell-phoning, swerving and speeding in their gimungous SUVs on the New Jersey Parkway. I'm pleased with the results, and as it turns out, I'm pleased with the album as well. Most of my review will be short, to-the-point thoughts that came to me, on the fly, while listening to the album. I'm really shocked by how positive my comments are – I used to be so jaded and nasty – what happened to me?

As far as I can tell, Radio Dick is a guy who discovers bands, promotes them on a radio show and now releases them on CD. Silly name, nice concept. The 3-Sided LP Series: Volume 1 features three bands that share a common spirit: punk and post-punk rock, with an obvious emphasis on song writing, melody and musicianship. This brings me back to the late 1980s and 90s: hanging out in ramshackle bars with graffitied bathrooms, musty stenches and wobbly stools, drinking a Bud, waiting for my friend's band to hit the stage. I'm glad to see this kind of scene and spirit still exists.

The American Plague
Overall: lyrics/vocals are a little muddy in the mix, but overall the sound is clean and raw, something like early Guns 'n' Roses type production. Guitar, bass and drums are well mixed – really nice rock n' roll production. I can't always tell what the guy is saying, but for rock n' roll, that really doesn't matter.

1. Alabama Tough Love: Explodes with the ferocity of an early solo Rollins song. The guys voice reminds me of Rollins and Joe Strummer. Fantastic and melodic.

2. 9 Times Out of Ten: The shock and suspense of an early 90s Soul Asylum or Bosstones song. With a definite Bruce Springsteen Born to Run sense of tension and melody. I'm singing 9 Times Out of Ten – it's a catchy tune.

3. Doubt: The song breaks out at high speed and switches gears to a slower "moshing-part." When the vocals kick in – you mosh. I'm reminded of Misfits era Danzig. It just kicks ass.

4. Past the Machine: This band knows how to write a good post-80s punk song. This song hits every mark, has some really great breakout chorus sounds. Decent for driving. Good guitar soloing without being obnoxious.

Overall: Woman vocalist. Imagine No Doubt if No Doubt took a post-punk direction instead of a ska direction.

1. Growing Alive: The singers voice is nice and clear, cute, with plenty of attitude. An exciting mix of tension and explosive energy.

2. Kindle Eyes Nude: A different kind of post-punk / pop-punk thing. The rhythms seem to collapse in on itself, like crashing waves. The singer is adding an interesting vibrato affect to her voice. The solo rips.

3. Touch the Touch: The singer really breaks out and releases on this song – showing the strength of her vocal talents. Really great. Great guitar sound and riffs with a nice echo effect. Great production. Nice – the song is making me speed. A great rock n' roll song will make you speed. She's growling, she's mad – her guy let her down, she's angry and justfully so. The guitar riff is so cool, this song will stick in your head all day.

4. Silent Grave: Not sure why, but she's taking us, or somebody, to her grave.

Overall: Punk rock with a lot of changes and melody. Kind of like 7Seconds, and even Agent Orange.

1. Weight: Plenty of vocal melody and the vocals are high-up in the mix so you can understand what the guy is saying.

2. Acceptance: Good guitar riffs. Lots of melody and aggression. A heavy mid-80s punk influence.

3. One Way Song: Lots of cool changes in the song – fast, slow, mosh. Great mix of the bass – doesn't get lost amongst the guitars and drums. Plenty of great, rock n' roll "oh, woah, woah" vocals (like Kevin Seconds or Danzig).

4. The Unseen Force: This is the real ass-kicker. Crazy fast – this is the part of the song where the elbows go flying, and yet, it's melodic.

Contact Information:
Post: Pal-Tone Records, PMB 422 , 167 Cherry St., Milford, CT, 06460, USA
Phone: (203) 878-6078

Legends Online