May 30, 2014

The Marked Men blew me away one fateful night when I decided to catch them at the Smell in downtown L.A., going on nothing but a hunch and some encouraging record/live show reviews. Soon thereafter I came upon the Potential Johns blaring through RazorcakeHQ’s speakers, resulting in me desperately seeking their split with the Chinese Telephones like my name was Susan. Ghostsdropped and I was in heaven: that was until Marked Men went on an “important shows only” hiatus. You can’t keep a band of amazing musicians down for long and that’s why the Mind Spiders and Low Culture came to fruition. Not even a month after the third Mind Spiders album comes out and I’m already hearing from family and good friends alike: “Dude, have you streamed that Radioactivity album yet?” Modern technology has a long history of betraying my expectations. I did not stream the album and decided to gamble on either finding myself pleasantly surprised or painfully disappointed. I ordered the album blindly. After all, I’ve since bought any and all Marked Men-related material and have yet to be let down. Soon after the needle dropped on Radioactivity’s new album a smile came upon my face. The kind of smile that only appears when you find out that special girl/boy doesn’t think you’re a complete loser and accepts your date invitation. Or the joy you feel of complete record nerd satisfaction knowing that you are one of only two hundred lucky ducks who now own a copy on yellow vinyl. The first time I heard Singles Going Steady by the Buzzcocks I was convinced it was the holy grail of pop punk albums. That was until I realized it wasn’t just a clever title but not an album at all. I’m sure a lot of bands struggle with choosing the perfect song to lead off a full length but how difficult must it have been for Radioactivity, being that every single song could lead off this masterpiece of an album. It’s been a while since I could honestly say that an album is absolutely flawless. I’m proud to announce that this album sets forth a new standard of quality in the pop punk genre which will surely be a tough act to follow once this album’s legacy is settled. Highest possible recommendation unless you hate good music. 

 –Juan Espinosa (Dirtnap)