RAD - Loud & Fast (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Loud & Fast (2013)

Sacramento Records

The title of RAD's debut album Loud & Fast gives a fairly accurate initial description of what to expect from this Sacramento based skate/hardcore band. When I use the term "hardcore" I mean it more in an old school kind of way, lacking as it does in any big, thick chugga chugga guitars or any of the floor thumping testosterone hysterics often seen at gigs; this clearly has its roots back in the 1980s and it's all about short, sharp shocks with some excellent vocals provided by Lory Gilpatric (ex-Shark Sandwich and Riff Randells), who shouts/talks her way through twenty tracks that fly by in a flash.

It would be a long stretch to call RAD a band with a serious-minded agenda, as humour seems to be at the forefront of what the band sing about, which helps make the whole thing an enjoyable listen; with song titles like "Never Turn Your Back on a Mosh," "Legacy of Bro-Tality" and "SK8bored" it is evident that mixing humour with punk rock is something RAD are quite accomplished at, although there are the occasional nods towards seriousness with tracks like "Corporate Drugs." But then that track also includes the lines ‘Shove your butt-pills in your dick! Moshing is our medicine!'. With songs lengths varying rarely venturing past the minute mark, it's no surprise they needed so many tracks to fill up two sides of a 12-inch record as the whole thing barely lasts eleven minutes: Basically, this thrashes like a fresh young salmon on a trampoline (I thank Baz Oldfield and The Abs for the inspiration for that line).

Musically, there is no doubt this is a bit of a throwback in style with nods towards the earlier incarnations of bands like the Circle Jerks and Descendents, but it's done extremely well, and for me Gilpatric is an excellent vocalist for this format in that her delivery adds the right tone to the mayhem created by the rest of the band and for the most part the lyrics are easily discernible (another plus). The beauty of a record like this is that despite frequent plays its brevity prevents it from becoming tiresome – all I hear is fresh and energetic thrashing every time I listen to it.

I'm highly unlikely to see this band live, but I can expect it's just a sea of flailing bodies for the duration of their set (a set that probably is 15 minutes at the most maybe?) and let's be honest, who doesn't get a kick out of seeing kids and grown-ups having such fun at a gig? My next goal is to find some live footage of them on the internet to see if my expectations will be met.