Preamble: Radstewart dropped their second track from their upcoming EP about a month ago, it’s called ‘Insane Parties’, and during my completely planned visit back to the UK I went to see them support Mowbird in Brighton and the Cardiff-based show-stealers were really great and nice guys with well-priced band t shirts.
For like ever, Indie Rock in some form or other has been fundamentally linked to the mini subcultures of US colleges and high schools, so I guess it was kind of inevitable that the British university system should be tackled at some point, and who better than articulate lo-fi rockers Radstewart to do so?
As far as the lyrics are concerned, the sentiments expressed in the lines
‘They go to those parties/ they’re totally insane, man’
and the more direct
‘If you go out and get drunk/ in a Native American headdress then you’re a cunt’
make Radstewart’s ‘Insane Parties’ an antidote to all of the attitudes embodied by how ‘Fresher’s Week’ is sold to British students. ‘In a Native American headdress’ could be changed to anything from ‘as a Smurf/Where’s Wally’ to ‘tightly and brightly’, but the song rings true to anyone who has stood the wrong side of a university accommodation window, looking out and wishing everyone would drop the act.
The song opens with a seductive lead guitar waltzing over the tricky pickings of its accomplice, the vocals come in, the listener is addressed, and it’s unmistakeably Radstewart; we get our ears around the exposed workings of a song that refuses to hide behind excess production values, or something. Ultimately, however, ‘Insane Parties’, is Radstewart’s beefiest tune to date (even though ‘Garage Faery‘ is ‘shoutier’) as the 4-piece drop a scuzz bomb in the chorus; they come at us with that straight screw-faced head banger brutishness, punctuated by a more precise guitar line, but one that eventually loses itself in the debris of the post-scuzz bomb landscape.
Radstewart are releasing their 5 track EP, ‘Wiccans and Beatlemancers’, in a couple of weeks and no doubt their take on ‘the state of things’ will continue with titles like ‘Student Wiccans’ and ‘Graduation Blues’. Their song, ‘Fix The Roads’, which is also on the EP, proves that Radstewart are not only on the frontline of student’s battle against students, but also student’s battles against the council:
‘They’ll never the fix the roads because they know that students don’t pay tax’
‘Insane Parties’ is available as a free download on Soundcloud – DON’T LOOK A GIFT HORSE IN THE MOUTH