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Radkey: Dark Black Makeup

Washington DC’s garage punk trio dig up more dirt

The title might sound like a goth beauty vlog, but don’t let that fool you.

This is the long-awaited debut album from garage punks Radkey, and it’s not only dirtier but also darker than anything they’ve done before.

Across 13 relentless tracks, this talented band of brothers mix the finest hardcore ingredients into a tasty stew of Bad Brains and early Misfits with plenty of seasoning from Minor Threat and Black Flag; think punchy classic punk rock with added pop sensibilities that mask lyrics of obsession and sadism.

The title track clearly pays homage to the mighty Glenn Danzig, not just through frontman Dee’s vocals but also in those beefy basslines and hi-energy choruses. In fact, the grungy Best Friends and the raucous Le Song even sound like forgotten Misfits tunes. The difference is that the monsters on here are inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s cult films and not the b-movies of yesteryear. Made in England rather than DC, Dark Black Makeup cleverly straddles that fine line between catchy and commercial without slipping onto the wrong side. Seriously impressive.