Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Radillac at The Plank

Posted By on Wed, Aug 4, 2010 at 3:58 PM

There is a philosophical distinction to be made between "rock" and "rawk." Rock can at times be soulful, intellectual, soft or experimental. It can inspire social movements and other forms of art. It generally becomes the next generation's pop. Rawk can do none of these things. It can only be savage, primal and loud enough to damage ears and relations with neighbors. It is fueled by pure ego, and inspires little beyond blind rage or the release of it.

More than anything, rawk is inherently ugly music, and proudly so. That ugliness is a badge it displays to find like minds, those unsatisfied with the box they've been instructed to fit in and who want to shake its walls to the ground.

Radillac made it clear at their CD release show at The Plank last Saturday that they are definitely a rawk band. And it stretches beyond their sound to their singer's remark that he'd probably huffed too much paint before the show. Rock musicians may OD in a hotel room in Paris, but rawk musicians nut up and do it on stage.

Radillac offers turbo-charged douchebaggery so thick, it was a wonder they didn't start a chant for someone in the audience to do a keg-stand. Clutch and Pennywise are clear influences, as are handlebar-mustaches, Jagermeister and fake tits. And though the power-trio has a surprisingly thick rich sound, cloaking melodies in blasts of distortion and hard-hitting drum breaks, Radillac aren't half as good as they think they are. And it is that swagger that is their best quality. It turns what could be a boring gray sonic palette, into a giant swinging donkey-dick of a sound, a caveman's club smashing everything in sight. R-A-W-f#$%ing-K. Had they been blasting out such thunderous riffs 15 years ago, there is little doubt they would have been the darlings of extreme motocross videos.

There will always be a place for this music. Though at this point in history, it's more likely to be in basements and dimly lit dives or drowning out power tools in chop shops than it is the top of the charts. But it's better off in those places where it can remain uncorrupted from slick gits with white wine spritzers turning up their noses and threatening to take their business elsewhere. Viva la rawk.

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