Radkey, Western Addiction
1011 Pacific Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA, 95060
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is 16 and over
.. NEVER DID A POPULAR THING... COULDN'T SELL OUT A TELEPHONE BOOTH... THE PROUD... THE FEW... THE DESCENDENTS
With that tongue-in-cheek battle cry, the nerdsome foursome declared their war against mediocrity. Fueled by the omni-ambitious doctrine of ALL (not ALL the band...that comes later. ALL the concept based on THE TOTAL EXTENT, the peak of pinnacles) and a series of caffeine binges, the essences of pop and punk were percolated together in a way that has yet to be recreated, though many have died trying. Ranks of sympathetic adolescents, previously excluded from the ferocious world of punk rock, followed the sound. They boldly strapped on their glasses, wiped their noses on their sleeves, and launched into the slam pit chanting the Descendents' refrain "I'M NOT A LOSER" like a mantra.
In 1978 the Descendents formed under their common credo of fishing, girls, and velocity. Existing briefly as a power trio, the LA-based group released the 7" single "Ride the Wild" before recruiting a certain crop-haired honors' class geek cum heart-throb (enter MILO--see ubiquitous illustration) on vocals. They released the "Fat" EP in 1981, the only record in the Descendents expansive catalog that does not contain a single love song. The quintessential Descendents album, "Milo Goes to College," hit local record stores in 1982. It's fusion of catchy melody with raw, spastic energy (henceforward known as "power pop", "melodic hardcore," or the ever popular "pop punk"), caused the Los Angeles Times to write "perfect for the little guy who was ever called a nerd and never got the girl. The Chain Saw pop combined with earthy humor conveys what is often an inarticulate rage."
In 1982, Milo was seduced by the fast-track lifestyle of biochemistry and left for college. Bill enrolled as full-time drummer with Redondo Beach punk founders BLACK FLAG on a global mission to play every town with electricity. For two lean years, the world was without Descendents. Then in 1985 Milo and Bill returned to again unleash the roar of the overstimulated, lovelorn dweeb. The band released the "I Don't Want to Grow Up" LP, replete with lots of mushy "girl-songs". Rigorous touring ensued. 1986's "Enjoy!" LP again broke new ground--not only as an archetype for the pop-punk genre, but more importantly as the first recording to make musical use of hi-fidelity stereophonic flatulence. Now available in full digital clarity! Each new Descendents record pushed further into the outer-envelope of ALL-ness: better, stronger, faster. The guitar/bass tandem of Stephen and Karl had what music teachers and Hit Parader Magazine refer to as "killer chops"--that is to say, they wailed. In 1987 the band released its magnum opus "ALL" album (including the All-O-gistics--a set of commandments useful in achieving ALL). Rigorous touring ensued. Two raging live albums were recorded, "Liveage" and "Hallraker." The Descendents became legendary on the underground all-ages circuit they relentlessly toured, but continued to fall below the mainstream radar. In case the 1980's are either a blur or a playground memory, here are a few highlights: Reaganomics, Rubick's Cube, Members Only jackets, Duran Duran, and Motley Crue. MTV and radio were clogged with glam metal and dancy new wave, while Punk Rock remained a strictly volunteer proposition. The Descendents were self-managed and produced their own albums on a shoestring budget.
It was an old jones for biochemistry that lured Milo away from the band. In 1987 he hung up his microphone cord to pursue further education. But much questing was left to do in pursuit of ALL-ness; they'd come too far to turn back. With Milo's departure came a sort of rebirth. Bill, Karl, and Stephen re-christened their entity under a new name, enlisting a new vocalist and renewing the eternal crusade. The only name that fit, of course, was ALL. Thus an alter-ego was created. The live albums, "Liveage" and "Hallraker," would stand as the Descendents' definitive and culminated sound, while ALL blazed onward, releasing eight amazing (and still self-produced) albums between 1988 and 1995. Fronted by singer Chad Price, the ALL touring machine left no continent uninvaded, spreading the tenets of ALL and at the same time introducing new kids to the Descendents legacy. The legend still grew and people were buying more ALL and Descendents records than ever.
On an undisclosed date in 1996, deemed by some as Science's Finest Hour, Milo hung up his lab coat and the Descendents began work on a new LP. Produced by Bill and Stephen at the band's own studio in Ft. Collins, CO (aptly dubbed The Blasting Room), "Everything Sucks" picks up EXACTLY where the Descendents left off. The tracks "Everything Sucks," "This Place," and "Coffee Mug" are classic Descendents, raging along at the speed of sound, while "I'm the One", "Sick-O-Me," and "She Loves Me" are anthems of the "girl-song" milieu. All new material, all original members. Milo and the boys sound stronger than ever.
Radkey does whatever they want. Whether it's hard and fast, or slow and groovy as f***. Radkey does whatever they want, and that's what rock and roll is all about. You can hear it in the music and it makes you want to party. Radkey doesn't cater to one sound by calling themselves a "Punk Band".
Radkey is: Dee, Isaiah and Solomon. Dee, the lead singer, guitarist and the oldest of the 3, has a powerful baritone voice, badass guitar solos and an equally powerful love for Japan.
Isaiah is the Bassist with a fucked up dark mind, and a sexy way with words. Solomon is the Drummer and youngest brother. He's a lover of hot sauce and video games, and he takes it seriously.
Radkey all grew up in a shitty little pink house in St. Joseph, Missouri. Homeschooled. Bored with nothing to do but listen to their Father's records and start a band. Radkey is a rock band.
- Vinny Dingo
Some bands are formed out of necessity. Some are formed out of proximity. Some are formed from both.
Do you remember when punk rock didn't rely on prefixes? Like, you didn't have to say 'streetpunk' or 'crust punk' or "political punk" or 'shit punk' or 'art punk' or 'pop punk'? Simpler, more straightforward times. Not easier times, just times where punk wasn't shoved into smaller and smaller holes. That's what Western Addiction strive for. Fun times. Thinking-while-rockin' times. Pre-MTV musical genocide times. Vital times. Black Flag and Circle Jerks.
Western Addiction ain't a bunch of dummies. Cognicide ('thinking something to death') shows that. It's no 'let's drink a lot of whiskey, meaningfully sway our bullet belts in the faces of fourteen year olds, and sing about smashing the state,' credit card punk. They know the score and they aren't interested in candy coating it. Nor are they blowhard assholes, 'collecting what they're due.' Seriously, the only accolade they hope to not so secretly reap is that this record sells more than thirty copies.
Here's the Cliffs Notes bio: All four members of Western Addiction work at Fat Wreck Chords. That's where they met.
Slightly longer version: All four members have been around punk music for quite awhile. All of them, except Jason, have been, or are currently in, other bands. Yet all four members work, in different capacities, with punk musicians and labels on a daily basis. They all go to shows. They all show their support. They're neck deep America's thriving punk scene.
That said, Western Addiction are realistic, grounded, and paying their way. They just know how to get things done because they already know the ropes. Such knowledge and access has allowed them to play with such punk stalwarts TSOL, The Adicts, The Adolescents, and the Swingin' Utters.
They also move quickly. After the initial time it took the band to gel, recording tracks came in a flurry. Cognicide, their first LP, is their third release. First came a 7', Remember to Dismember (Fat), then a Split 12' EP with New Mexican Disaster Squad (No Idea), followed by a song contributed to Protect: A Benefit for the National Association to Protect Children.
In 2005, they toured Japan to help support NOFX and vanned down the California coast with Propagandhi. In 2006 they hit the East Coast with New Mexican Disaster Squad before going on an unplanned 7 year hiatus.
But they're back and are more than stoked to play backyard parties, basements, art galleries, community spaces, you name it. For Western Addiction, it's simple. They have a laser-directed idea of what they want to do: make and play good punk music. Nothing more, nothing less.