Once upon a time, all rock was garage rock — or warehouse rock, or barn rock. Big, dirty spaces served big, dirty dreams. But with the diminished aspirations — of scoring an opening slot for the Decemberists or a 128 kbps download on Stereogum — come diluted exercises in form and fashion. Radical Sons may have received the St. Louis scene's equivalent of Beatlemaniac hysteria (love from Pitchfork, Tripwire and the Secretly Canadian vinyl label St. Ives, check and triple check), but they sound as loose as a 1979 CBGB soundcheck, bruised as skateboard punks kicked off the plaza. With staccato guitar hooks battling Chuck Berry deformations, droll choruses sneered over shake-and-shimmy-it rhythms, Radical Sons sound as promising and urgent as the young rock & rollers we can only hope they'll always remain.
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