Words by Audra Tracy | Photo by Ken Grand-Pierre

Early Thursday evening, there was a rumble on E. Houston. You could feel the sidewalk outside of New York’s Mercury Lounge quaking. Something inside sounded ferocious.

Those heavy vibrations were coming from an untamed monster called Radkey – three young brothers all hopped up on ‘green fizzy drinks’ and channeling all that energy into a full-throttle set of Misfits-era garage punk. The boys from Missouri were in town for a string of NYC gigs, and on this night they opened the show for Brighton-based rock duo Blood Red Shoes.

Dee (guitar/vox), Isaiah (bass/vox), and Solomon (drums) Radke do not play pop punk. Sure, there’s some teenage angst in there, but they weren’t singing about broken hearts or self-doubt. No, these kids played songs about super-villains and ‘fucking shit up with baseball bats’. It was loud, it was fast, and it invoked a primal urge to violently bang your head along. And the crowd at Mercury was eating it right up.

Radkey released two EPs last year, and songs from both Devil Fruit and Cat & Mouse filled the set, including stand-out tracks like the ragers ‘Out Here In My Head’, ‘Start Freaking Out’, and ‘Romance Dawn’. And while most opening acts wouldn’t dare attempt a backwards stage-dive, when Isaiah made his leap of faith, the crowd of smitten New Yorkers responded with open arms.

If Radkey can get this kind of reaction from a small crowd at Mercury, just wait til they play in front of thousands at Riot Fest this year!


TheWaster.com | NYC