Few would argue with the fact that Marked Men are one of the greatest punk bands of all time, a band in which Jeff Burke and Mark Ryan are both alumni. Few would argue against the absolute brilliance of Radioactivity’s self-titled debut LP. Ultimately, new Radioactivity songs make me buzz with electricity. Well, here they are, and they are a step in a slightly different direction. The melodies are reserved, thoughtful, and succinct when compared with the sugar-y bombast of “Don’t Try” or “World of Pleasure.” None of this is to say that these gents have slowed down, mellowed out, or stopped wrecking their wrists with rapid down-picking. Rather, these two songs require listening on repeat and active engagement. You are forced to turn off the lights, turn up the volume, and ensure your headphones are on snug, as the choruses aren’t as obvious, but the payoff is just as gratifying. The layers of complexity reveal songs equally as brilliant as any by Marked Men. Especially “Why,” a languid and hypnotizing opus, which suggests the influence of Mind Spiders. These two songs potentially foreshadow a more textural Radioactivity on future LPs. If so, I welcome the change.
–Sean Arenas (Secret Mission)