The three members of the band have been friends for 15 years, according to their bio. They are Lindsay Baker (vocals, lead guitar), Chris Diken (guitar), and Robbie Guertin (drums, vocals). You may know Guertin as the guy who plays keyboards, guitars and backing vocals in Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. It’s obvious from their sound that they’re all big fans of 1990s noise pop. If you’ve ever read this blog before, you know exactly how we feel about that.
I first learned about Radical Dads because of their fantastic Daytrotter session, which was posted in November of last year. I highly recommend becoming a member of Daytrotter. It’s only $2 USD a month, and you get lots of cool and exclusive music from some of the best up-and-coming indie bands, plus a few established indie acts. The Radical Dads session is one of my favorites. Don’t bother with the essay, though. As fantastic as the session is, the essay is equally as disappointing. The writing is normally sharp and fun to read. This one was obviously a rough draft that was never edited.
I’m actually going to share two versions of today’s song, which happens to be my favorite from their album. The first version is the album version.
Then there’s the magnificent Daytrotter version:
“Walking Wires” (Daytrotter Session: 10 November, 2011) by Radical Dads
This song reminds me a good bit of the brilliant Baltimore shoegaze band Thrushes. If you’re not listening to Thrushes, you’re missing out. I mean… if you’re into that kind of thing. Although their website has gone dark, Thrushes hasn’t quit. The word on the street is that they have an album worth of material ready to go to the studio, but they need some funding to get it done. I like that band a lot, and it turns out that they’re really nice folks, and friends of the blog. As much as I would love to write another post about Thrushes, that’s not what we’re doing.
I like the density of the drums on this song. And the slow build on those drums from 0:15 to 0:25. The guitar part through the song is reminiscent of more than just the noise-pop bands of the 90s and the current bands who are doing their best to revive the 90s noise-pop sound. In fact, I go back another decade for Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr when I hear Baker’s guitar in this song. Obviously, a lot of those noise-pop bands owe their very existence to Dinosaur Jr and Sonic Youth. And so on, and so on, and so on.
One of the things that I love about the Daytrotter session is the heavy feedback on the guitars. The drum beat is slightly different, and Baker’s vocals aren’t given the double track/delay treatment. I have to admit that I like the brighter, more full vocals on the album version. In a weird sort of way, whatever treatment they gave it makes it have a bit of an Arcade Fire sound. On the other hand, I prefer the guitar bit from the Daytrotter session.
I hope you like this song as much as I do. You can listen to the album at the band’s bandcamp page. You can also buy a digital or physical copy of the album there. I’d suggest, however, that you buy it (and/or Radical Dads 7″ records) through the band’s web store.