Review: Radiation Romeos – Radiation Romeos
Frontiers Music Srl 2017
Reviewer: Grant Foster
Remember the Atomic Playboys album featuring Steve Stevens on guitar? (He of Billy Idol fame)………..If you do, then this album is the showcase for vocalist Parramore ‘Perry’ McCarty, who was the singer on said album! Confused? You will be………………………….
The title track gets us off to a good start, sounding very much like it could easily slip onto that Atomic Playboys album with no trouble at all. All melodic and muscle.
Second track, ‘Ocean Drive‘, starts off with a bass synth line and piano. It evokes the spirit of Boys Of Summer and you can just see yourself driving in a red Corvette somewhere in the USA by the beach. All melodic and………well you get the picture, very radio friendly rock and rather good.
Now, after this, is where it all starts to go wrong.
‘Bad Bad Company‘ has a phased sound through the admittedly decent guitar riff from the off. A heavier grinder of a song, the phase returns annoyingly through the chorus. Aside from that it’s a decent slab of hard rock. ( Just don’t mention the nan na na’s at the end!)
But in ‘Mystic Mountain‘, well, things start to get s-t-r-a-n-g-e……….veering between keyboards and hard rock, the lyrical content is all about aliens and conspiracy theories! I kept getting that image of Close Encounters in my head……’’Tales of travelers of space & time, guided by ancient global greers’’……it’s all rather pompous! I’m not knocking the content matter, rather the delivery of it all.
And this theme does rather run through the rest of the album I’m afraid.
‘Like An Arrow‘ – another slow ballad on an album of plodders. Unremarkable.
‘Promised Land‘ – supposed to be all mystical and Egyptian, it comes out sounding like a week at Camber Sands. And it drags.
‘Castaways‘ – piano led with seaside sounds. At least the pace picks up here. ‘’Legends of discovery on an oceans quest, the power of the oceans calling was never second guessed’’……..I mean at least Maiden’s Rhyme Of The Ancient Mariner was interesting! No doubting there is melody in these songs, but the lyrics……………..
‘Ghost Town‘ – all Clint Eastwood in it’s approach, it actually works, when McCarty varies his delivery. Props to guitarist Dag Heyen, who weaves some nice lead work not just here, but through much of the album.
‘Til The End Of Time‘ – All far too formulaic and twee for these ears. ‘’I will love you till the end of time, and when all the words refuse to rhyme’’………and McCarty seems to be almost embarrassed in his delivery……..not that I can blame him.
‘On the Tight Rope‘ – just unremarkable. You really have heard it all before.
Which leads us to the last tune, ‘Monstertraxx‘. Despite it’s ridiculous title and intro, there is something about this song. Catchy guitar riff? Check. Ear worm chorus? Check? Daft lyrical content? Definitely! Needs to be in a Sci Fi film for sure!!
To sum up, this album is more hit than miss. No doubting Mr McCarty has decent pipes, but the plodding nature and the lyrical content stop this from being what it could have been. Atomic Playboys? More like CND dustmen I’m afraid!