It is easy to anticipate the sound of a punk, hardcore or metal record by reading its title (for the most part). Dangers’ Anger. Bathory’s Blood Fire Death. Wormrot’s Abuse. It’s rather convenient. Such is the case with female-fronted, Sacramento-based punk band RAD and their delectable cassette tape tentatively titled Loud & Fast.
Yeah. Guess what, fellas? It’s f**king loud, and it’s f**king fast. So f**k you.
Twenty songs in eleven minutes. Oh, hell yes! Two of the twenty songs pass the one-minute mark; eight of ‘em hardly pass the half-minute mark. You better believe this album is going to kick your ass! Like I mentioned earlier, this is a female-fronted punk band. That chick on the cover is Lory Gil and instead of employing furious screams reminiscent of bands like Punch or Glasses, she shouts frantically as if she were the head of some hardcore band from the eighties. The band is a punk/thrash crossover group which is why the album goes by quicker than taking a dump in a Taco Bell restroom. Despite it’s fast pace, each song has it’s own personality. “We’re RAD” is a brilliant intro to the album. A catchy riff, thumping drums, and a thick bass-line call for some serious head-bobbing. One can imagine a crowd of young kids circling around an empty space getting ready to mosh their pathetic hearts out of their hairless chests. Then “You’re a Dunzo” kicks in and all of the pent-up energy explodes onto the audience, erupting into one hell of an angry mosh pit where kids are dancing in cut-off jeans, dirty Vans shoes and Iron Lung band t-shirts. The band continues their speedy setlist with “This is Not a Final War” and “I’m an Adult” as kids start to fall on the ground before being pulled back into the action by some obese hardcore dude, already busting a sweat in the muggy atmosphere of the dank warehouse the band’s playing in.
Although the lyrical themes don’t go beyond subjects like skateboarding, moshing and other forms of stupid violence, there are some great, sometimes hilarious lyrical moments throughout the album. Lines like “Shove your butt-pills in your dick! Moshing is our medicine!” are memorable and chant-inducing. There are also miniature moments that I find are strokes of punk genius like the three-note solo that ends “This is Not a Final War” and the end of “Banned in Citrus Heights” where it’s just the sound of pounding drums and the band shouting “I got out from work today!”
RAD’s Loud & Fast feels like a thousand punches hitting you at a thousand miles per hour. Looking back at it now, I have played this album over ten times while writing this review (which isn’t very long to begin with). If you dig loud and fast music that you can’t scrobble on Last.fm, then get your hands on Loud & Fast as soon as you can. It’s rad.