Review Summary: An imaginative, morbid, and perverse detailing of love and lust.
Throw away all of your preconceptions about modern hardcore. “It’s uniform; it’s stagnant” - you know this already. Every once in a while, however, a band who truly understands the importance of the “shock factor” will emerge. Undark and the Radium Girls (history lesson: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radium_Girls) are a punk band out of tiny Hull, Massachusetts who clearly do not concern themselves with any sort of genre limitations. Their six-song, seventeen minute EP, Dark Love
is both appalling and furious, resulting in an outrageously fun production with endless replay value.
Imagine a really pissed-off Jello Biafra screaming about torturous, failed relationships for fifteen minutes, and you will have a pretty good indication of what to expect from Undark’s vocals. “I wish everything was as easy as being in love as a kid,”
begins the EP, before it truly unravels into the twisted, poetic “love” story that it is. Frantic, chaotic instrumentation complete with bells, shakers, and other Gypsy-like percussion creates a an atmosphere similar to that of a fast-paced black and white horror film, leaving the listener on edge, but grinning, waiting for the killer to jump out at any minute.
As manic as Dark Love
is, it still manages to be catchy and easy to digest; it is concise, with crisp production that allows every line and riff to jump out at the listener. Predominantly vocal sections are memorable, a including “Hey, hey!” chant in The City
, and an especially graphic part of Violence
“We ripped and tore and tried to destroy each other entirely.
We gouged and hit and tried to destroy each other entirely.
We scratched and spit and tried to destroy each other entirely.”
Let’s face it: we cannot all relate to hostile and abusive relationships (probably a good thing), but that does not erase the fact that Dark Love
is musical entertainment in its purest form. Through six heavy, upbeat, and exciting songs, Undark and the Radium Girls succeed in creating a completely original EP littered with poetry and stories of sex, violence, and regret. Dark Love
is mindlessly fun in itself, but also injected with enough raw anger and emotion to give it substance and authenticity. Forget what you are expecting; immerse yourself in this horrifically enjoyable EP and you will be pleasantly surprised.