National Music Reviews April 2016

Review: Radio Hearts – Tell You

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Radio Hearts
Tell You

No Front Teeth Records
Street: 02.05
Radio Hearts = The Buzzcocks + The Boys

I would be remiss and unequivocally in error if I did not immediately admit my love for any power-pop punk that invokes all that is great about the ’77–’79 sound.  Radio Hearts are that and more. Hailing from Long Beach, California, this power-pop quartet are a sight to behold, and more importantly, be heard. They have all the ingredients to make your heart ache and body shake. That should be no surprise though, seeing as they are signed to No Front Teeth. The Tell You EP is perfect to get your blood pumping to some sweet, power-filled grooves. “Tell You” immediately captivates with a sick riff that almost reminds me of Belfast punk legends Rudi’s I-Spy. Like the aforementioned, “Tell You” is an up-tempo, power chord–laced tune that one should jump about to. 

“So Low” also carries on with the electrifying ferocity that “Tell You” has, although it has a much more noticeable kick that boasts a high-voltage sound. On the B-side, listeners will discover a slight variation in style. It is still awesome power-pop—it’s just that these tracks don’t quite have the same amount of punch as those on the A-side. “My Heart Has An Obituary” is up-tempo, though a little flat. By this I mean it doesn’t have the same about power as other numbers. The other B-side number, “Who Are You,” reminds me of what I could have gotten from the Nice Boys or even off of an Exploding Hearts record. It’s power pop to the core, but has a more ’70s glam rock n’ roll attitude about it. 

The reasons you should check this out really boil down to this: It’s solid, tested and good. Sure, one could be comfortable just spinning a Boys or Buzzcocks record—and you know, after I get through the A and B sides here, I may very well do that—but to hell with that kind of complacency. This EP is the product of something good and nostalgic. Radio Hearts take an established sound, made popular by ’70s power pop and punk, and stretch it to fit on this nice little EP. To be fair, a lot of groups have come out of the woodwork and done similar things, and they’ve all been pretty damn good, particularly the ones mentioned above.

Honestly, if three paragraphs highlighting how cool the Tell You EP is doesn’t inspire you to purchase this record, then please consider the following. First, your volume may be turned down too low. Second, your fingers may be lodged in your ears. Those two are the most probable (and PG) reasons for not being infected by the quality of Radio Hearts. Once rectified, you’ll be a happy little individual with a sweet new record spinning on your turntable. Don’t stop there, though: Make sure that you have your volume up radically high so that you can make some friends with your soon-to-be enthusiastic neighbors. After that, you’ll have great music, new mates and/or will most likely be in jail or evicted, but hey, this is rock n’ roll, and the risks are worth it. Good night and good luck. –Nick Kuzmack