After the 20 year reign of hipsters, it can get hard to tell what's cool and what's not. Conventional wisdom is that Nirvana came and saved us all from the hair bands who committed the sin of being “uncool.” Now you can appreciate Van Halen ironically, but lord help you if you just straight up think their self-titled is a good record. (fun fact: it is.) Then along comes a band like Radiorelics who take all the sleaze and grime of Diamond Dave era Van Halen, add just a touch of Stankonia era Andre 3000, all backed by a rhythm section that worships at the church of Rage Against the Machine. It's sleazy, yeah, but it's sincerely and unironically sleazy. It may not be “cool” but damn if it's not hot.
The band has yet to put out an official release, but the tracks they've posted to Soundcloud have earned them a lot of deserved attention. The best of them is “Work It Out,” a song that captures all the charisma and playfulness of early Van Halen, down to singer Malcolm Xavier (sidebar: if that's not a stage name, is the sort of name that predestines you for rock godhood.) delivering a spoken word come-on beneath James “Jr. Mafia” Townsend's fiery guitar solo. This is the sort of music that used to be LA's stock and trade. Bring on the full length!
- Words by Nathan Leigh