Radiant City – No Errors
Following a slew of impressive EPs and some of the best live instrumental rock that Melbourne has to offer, power-duo Radiant City have finally unleashed their debut album, No Errors. I say ‘unleashed’ because RC are pretty heavy on the fuzzy riffs and thunderous toms, and often come flying at you with the ferocity of a wild cat, all claws and spit. And when they slow-burn, you’re still poised and alert, waiting for the fury to return…
Guitarist Andrew McLaughlin certainly knows his pedals, so on the average RC song the listener is treated to guitar textures and loops aplenty – all recorded from the comfort of his front room. What’s really impressive is the depth and punch of all of the sounds on this album. I’ve heard plenty of studio-recorded albums that don’t sound anywhere near this vivid. McLaughlin is something of a home recording auteur, it would seem. Whether blasted out of car speakers (recommended) or explored on headphones, there’s lots going on here that belies the relatively simple songs.
Although the power of tracks like opener ‘Trailer’ and single ‘Two Against Eight’ rests in the massive riffs and pounding drums, the most exciting moments lie in RC’s exploration of fresh directions. In ‘Key Control’, two different red-hot drum patterns are cross-faded across three minutes to staggering effect. Focus on the little rhythmic details that emerge in the mix and you’d swear Tortoise were working their magic. And in finale ‘Down The Satellites’, gorgeous synth-like tones ride atop a rolling beat, bringing the listener into a completely unique space compared to the rest of the album. Magnificent.
While there are mis-steps along the way – the third quarter is a little wanting in the tunes department – No Errors is an impressive and inventive debut from one of Melbourne’s finest instrumental bands.