The Radiation Kings

The Radiation Kings

Early Years


The Radiation Kings knocked my socks off with a stellar 7-inch earlier this year, and after catching a fantastic performance at this year’s CMJ Festival in their NYC stomping grounds, I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of this debut full-length. Glad to say, Early Years does not disappoint, with a traditional ska vibe that’s fleshed out with R&B, jazz, soul, and 50’s rock overtones. I dig the casual, live-in-the-studio atmosphere of this record — when singer Lisa White erupts into a giggling fit at the end of “Number 6,” it’s testament to the feeling that the band is at ease with their skills and having a good time making great music. White’s amazing voice is the first thing you’ll notice when you check this band out — she can growl and belt with the best of ’em (check out “Come Down” and “NYC Blues” for just two fine examples), but despite serious pipes, she never crosses the line into annoying Mariah Carey diva-tude. Still, while her voice will grab your attention, it’s the rocksteady groove laid down by the boys in the band that’ll keep you coming back for more. Highlights include “Murder” (a smooth soul-ska burner with a great break right out of Del Shannon’s “Runaway”), the sweet, jazzy ballad, “Spending Time,” the dark and lovely “Carry,” and the R&B-flavored “Dem Try,” but everything here’s worth more than one listen. The Radiation Kings are a band with unlimited potential — with Early Years like this, just imagine what they’re going to be like with a bit more seasoning! They’re touring Florida in January — don’t miss ’em!

Stubborn Records, P.O. Box 176, 57 Pitt St., New York, NY 10002;

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Vomitface

    Hooray For Me (Help Yourself Records). Review by Jen Cray.

  • Sweet Crude
    Sweet Crude

    Sweet Crude brought a bit of New Orleans to Tampa. Bob Pomeroy catches up with the group.

  • Butch Walker
    Butch Walker

    Stay Gold (Dangerbird Records). Review by Andrew Ellis.

  • Belly

    Belly brought lot of grit and a touch of grace to the Bowery Ballroom in NYC.

  • Pickathon 2016
    Pickathon 2016

    Pendarvis Farms transforms for three extraordinary days into the fun and psychedelic fest of your wildest indie music loving dreams, Pickathon. Alexa Harris was there to experience the joys of farm life for the weekend.

  • Money Chicha
    Money Chicha

    Echo En Mexico (Vampisoul). Review by James Mann.

  • Micronotz reissues
    Micronotz reissues

    Mortal Micronotz, Smash, Live, The Beast that Devoured Itself, 40 Fingers (Bar/None). Review by Scott Adams.

  • Big Eyes
    Big Eyes

    Stake My Claim (Don Giovanni Records). Review by Jen Cray.

  • Various Artists
    Various Artists

    Money Maker (Studio One). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Pawns

    A triple bill of underground Goth, led by NYC’s Pawns, transforms Uncle Lou’s into a time machine. Jen Cray did not wear eye makeup, but she did wear a black shirt to the show.

From the Archives