Red Tape - Radioactivist (Cover Artwork)

Red Tape

Radioactivist (2004)


Roadrunner is in a strange position with a band like Red Tape. Even with a roster that features a host of standout bands like Killswitch Engage, and Spineshank (just kidding on that one), there seems to be very little fan attachment to the label, at least compared to labels like Epitaph, Trustkill, Ferret, and so forth. Thus, Red Tape is pretty much left to fend for itself as a highly talented, engaging, and gripping old-school punk/hardcore band without the safety net of positive associations. Fortunately, if "Radioactivist" gets into the hands of the "tastemakers," such label associations will be entirely irrelevant.

Red Tape have been kicking it around California for more than seven years, though this is only second full-length from the band; the first being available from New Age Records. Although "Radioactivist" features an original take on some well-covered genres, the band's mixture of musical influences and political ethos can be easily summed up by noting the following bands: Pennywise, Rage Against The Machine, Downset and Anti-Flag. Never monotonous, nor overtly dogmatic in their political leanings, there's a vitality to the band's music that's brillantly easy to soak in, especially on shout-out anthem, "El Salvador," and the wickedly driving, "Divebomb." And of course, it doesn't hurt that most of the 15 songs on here have extremely catchy choruses, and meaty guitar hooks. Gobs of energy transverse through all 36 minutes of music, and "Radioactivist" is over and done with before you know it.

Unlike a lot of bands who use calls of "revolution" as some kind of stepping for gaining the "political punk" tag, there's no indication that Red Tape are concerned with flying with that kind of stigma. Rather, "Radioactivist" speaks through vivid metaphors and intelligent questioning, much like their genre's legends, Bad Religion. The end result is that these guys seem a lot more credible in their delivery. "Radioactivist" is fast, furious, and full of passion; give this a spin!