Radical Attack - Priority (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Radical Attack

Priority (2006)

Ghost Town [CD] / Vinyl Addict [LP]

I know what your mother said, but that shouldn't stop you from judging this by its cover. This band is GOOFY. Not like the Atom and His Package, "hey look, I'm an individual" sense, but if you take a band like Radical Attack too seriously you could end up with a hernia.

Blasting out 23 songs in what seems like just as many minutes (plus the time taken flipping between the record's side A and B), Radical Attack churns forth a heavy, meaty style of hardcore with a crusty overtone. That's not to say they play crust though, but rather borrow from its aesthetic with vocals that hit somewhere between Siege and Napalm Death and brief explosions of hard-hitting tracks that aren't too different from contemporaries like Outbreak.

While the majority of the form can easily be identified as hardcore punk, the band isn't afraid to dip its toes in gloomy sludge parts or vicious blast beats, often Jekyll-and-Hyding between the two. Some even take on powerviolence nature, like the 14-second "Muckmen" whose lyrical entirety consists of the screams "Blank stare, addicted fool / Give it up, your head's about to explode!."

Which brings me to another point: Radical Attack is an overtly straight-edge band. This is where much of the ridiculousness kicks in. Though it's hard to decipher if you're not looking at a lyrics sheet (I thought I heard "You fucking dwarf!" in the song "Worm") many of Rad Attack's lyrics are as over-the-top as can be. Take "Light ‘Em Up," for example: "White cancer sticks rolls on the streets / Keep that shit inside your car / 'Cause I am getting fired up / You're going to feel my rage / When you flick it out / It's burning me and I hate / This world you think you're in / Makes me wanna…light you up!" Hilarity.

The band also seems to mimic a lyrical theme of fellow Canadians Propagandhi on "Four More Years," though with substantially less grace: "Four more years of ‘What the fuck?' / Doesn't matter who lost or won / Neither one was right or wrong."

Priority is a fun listen if you don't miss the point, taking advantage of the energy and enthusiasm to get your blood flowing, and the (un?)intentionally outrageous lyrics for comic relief.