Review Summary: for the people you love
I already miss the days of my past, and Radiator Hospital’s newest only works to exacerbate this longing, reigniting those youthful, carefree feelings nestled deep inside the cabinets of my brain. It doesn’t help that the people within my musical clique of sorts, have all adored, covered, and praised the band since the first drunken house party of our college careers. In fact, I recall one of my friends once divulging, “I’ll never forget the day I heard Sam Cook’s voice for the first time...it was life-changing
”. Melodramatic, sure, but the more I listen to the group the more his glowing earnesty shines through the strained, desperate croons. A frontman that is as honest with his lyrics as his delivery; the shifts in tones and feelings often mirroring his articulations and inflections. Although always tinged with an apprehensive misery, it’s the adorably uplifting melodies that spring spontaneous fits of dancing and singalongs. Play the Songs You Like
fittingly clings onto their past; a comforting blanket of party punk that produces this looping stream of glistening nostalgic bubbles that are all the more appealing to watch float by.
‘Pastoral Radio Hit’ is an early blender of emotions, brazenly calling forth to the timidly reserved moments between fleeting splashes of color and shades of mono-secrecy. While “I've been in your head, been on your mind//End up in your bedroom half the time//Feeling like I'm a part of your life
is forthright and a stunningly built groundwork for the thrashing resolve, it eerily repeats in a glamorized, dream-state nature. It’s a compelling thought amidst a sea of positivity and raw honesty that spills over from riff to response. Yet this is only the start of a journey that has a backbone stretched across the drunken basements, allowing for such a medley of escaped reservations and new beginnings. It’s an exciting push through the crowd, however, as the band screeches across blissful punk riffs with an impassioned aura for a handful of tracks afterwards. It’s of course as intoxicating as the substances consumed before and during the performance (hint: take a quick smoke break outside while they loop around in ‘Also Ran’). Fittingly or not this pause marks the divide between two halves closely intertwined in each others’ thoughts and call outs. ‘People at the Show’ points out the dishonest newcomers while still managing to be a song thriving in honesty. Although the stark, bitter sentiment of people “acting like they understand how we’re feeling
“ is a bit off-putting, it’s a necessary conjecture which makes the apprehensive ending question all the more satiating. It’s here where suddenly you look around and the crowd has halved yet somehow grown stronger and closer together around the more desperate pleas and bouts of (b)latencies.
In my experience, I think ‘Dance Number’ and ‘Absolutely Positive’ prove to be the instant sparks of popcorn reactions across the typed conversations of my good friends. The former conjures thoughts of uncomfortable self-reflections, yet gorgeously transposes them into a glimpse of clarity. It marks the path of the beginning of the exit of sorts, as it's when you ask to yourself “why am I crying and dancing"
" It makes you feel at home for a moment while reminding you what it is like to be human as nothing is served in polarities. Because of such realities, it makes sense that a friend has consistently told me he’s “shed a tear or two” to the track as it reflects the anxious mind to an evocative degree. The latter is simply a look at a perfect goodbye, both in music form and in final acquaintance partings (will you see them at the next show" Who knows"). In that sense it is bittersweet, but it’s really one of the most calming melodic explorations the band expands on as they explore the art of an unwavering farewell through a soothing sprinkle of rose pollen particles. It’s almost apologetic for the allergic reaction, yet it somehow knows that the sudden sneeze is a satisfying feeling of closure. If college were to go on for longer I think I’d hear myself yell “yeah I know that I'm a fool when I go wild
“ on a concrete floor with familiar faces scattered about. For now, I'm hoping that simply the conjured imagery is enough to look back on; a fabricated memory that's more telling than life itself. So in order to burn the artificial scene into my mahogany mental cabinets, I'm constantly hitting