Radar Men From The Moon – Subversive I (2015)

Step right in! Who wants to go to the Space-Rock discotheque? It’s 3 Jager bombs for a fiver and the tunes are banging!

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The Dutch masters of space-rock, Radar Men From The Moon are back with a 4th album, Subversive I and as soon as the needle drops the blood is fizzing in your veins…

What is immediately striking about ‘Deconstruction’ is just how crisp, immediate and energetic the drums are. This is bold new territory for the Radar Men, moving away from the huge slabs of riffs of their first album and the abstract cut out shapes of their last album, Strange Wave Galore. With a bold side-stepping of the necessity to paint huge swathes of stately noise, Radar Men are forcing through with an energising space-dance. The whole thing flexes and glides like a stingray. Throbs of sound flare while quicksilver guitar shoots lightning bolts. ‘Deconstruction’ shines the light on a new direction for the band, one that will get people dancing.

Click to listen to ‘Deconstruction’… and the rest of the album too…

The harsh clanking of a metal gantry powers ‘Habitual’. The drums lurch like hunting dogs on the prowl. The giddy, rolling fluidity of the rhythm section induces motion sickness. The song’s porcupine riff is so insistent that hypnosis must surely follow. For one glorious final minute everything comes together perfectly in telepathic union and the needles hit the red for an adrenaline fuelled party.

‘Neon’ twitches under formless noise until a curious mechanical fluttering takes over and does,well, nothing for well over 2 minutes. On other albums this is normally welcomed but RMFTM have built such a head of steam over the first half of the album, the presence of this bowl of ambient noodles merely disrupts the good time that everyone was having, like a surly bouncer. Luckily after 4 minutes normal service is resumed with a block shaking groove. Another sky-high line of dynamite guitar ramps up the pressure and pokes needles in the brain. Past 9 minutes and a sparking piece of guitar ephemera dances.

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‘Hacienda’ weighs in with thundering, violent bass, like a gorilla tumbling down a spiral staircase. Industrial machinery vibes as elements are systemically used: slabs of noise are switched on and off.

The guitars sliced over this album are remarkable: they reach Joy Division levels of paranoia inducing, soul shredding violence. What’s worth wondering is how much of this album is actually space rock? The groove is vibrant and febrile, the top end giving way to moments of gleeful abandon. At times the album is damn near hedonistic. Post-punk dance music then?

Ah… who cares… this is the Space-Rock Discotheque! Have fun! Get the drinks in! Everyone’s invited!

https://radarmenfromthemoon.bandcamp.com

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