Album Review: Radar State – Strays

radar state

Pop-punk, indie, emo auteurs of The Get Up Kids (Jim Suptic), The Anniversary (Josh Berwanger) and The Architects (Adam Phillips) combine their powers to create a rock album out of the early 2000s for today.

radar state band

There are some solid rock songs on this record that I’m going to be more than happy to show people and play on a couple playlists. These include:

  • The titular “Strays” (A hard hitting pop-rock song espousing safety and shelter for any and all that find themselves on the outside.  The song is a call for compassion and inclusion with the band offering “their place” and a promise that they can solve problems tomorrow.  The DNA of early The Get Up Kids is obviously supporting this song, but its catchy and fun)
  • “What’s a Rebel” (silly punk rock song that loves being just that)
  • “Damn the Man” (a funky garage rock song with Josh Berwangers’ syrupy belt and some claps)
  • “Self Hurt Guru” (speeding that shit up and ripping through some self destruction)

But there is weakness as well. I see this band as the convergence of some serious talent that got together under the pretense of having some good fun and then realizing that they had put together a few good rock tunes. And, perhaps, some record company connections derived from their pedigree got them the opportunity to put out a full length so they needed some filler. These songs are

  • “Anywhere” (too much bubble-gum sing-a-long),
  • “Summer of Sundays” (meh)
  • “Making Me Feel” (Whose little brother wrote this one?)

Ultimately, Radar State is embracing their individual pasts while moving forward. Their debut album shows passion for their distinctive style of rock that’s tinged in that warm nostalgia from the first time you heard “Four Minute Mile” or “Your Majesty.”

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