It’s not an easy thing to base an EP on the fall of civilisation and then actually make it enjoyable, but with ‘Pink Neon Toxic’ Radiosaurus have nailed the near impossible.
Plymouth based but not Plymouth bred, Radiosaurus are a four piece well respected for their live shows of controlled madness. Having seen only these and not listened to recorded material before ‘Pink Neon Toxic’, confusion ensued. Where were the crazy synths, the stage crushing dynamism, the weird alien noises at the end of the songs? Instead ‘Pink Neon Toxic’ is a rather more demure trio of polished and considered tracks.
Don’t take this to mean that they’re boring in any way; if anything the opposite is true. There is a beautiful flow between the tracks to the point that the segue between opener ‘We’re God Every One’ and the densely dynamic ‘A Shark Among Wolves’ is nigh on imperceptible, ‘This Poisonous Town’ sneaks in with all the infectious subtlety of an oddly welcome plague, while sparks flint from the sadistic ‘told-you-so’ joy which leaps from a bed of apocalyptic lyrics.
Their craftsmanship too seems to increase through the EP, with ‘A Shark Among Wolves’ a prime example of how layering disciplines adds an otherwise unattainable depth to a song. Beginning like a Modest Mouse styled preacher, the echoing and somehow vengeful sounding guitars tease into battle mode only to recede again. That is, until the raucous war-cry that is the chorus commences, complete with some Jay-Z worthy ‘H.A.M.’ style background operatics which, though in Latin, might well be fulfilling the order to ‘scream shark at the top of your lungs’.
The one minor criticism is that the boys are clearly, as I was, more used to their gung-ho givin’ it large performances. As such quieter songs and sentimental, poetic verses performed at studio levels are a step outside of the norm, and it is noticeable as frontman Alex attempts on tracks such as ‘We’re God Every One’ to create a more dynamic instrument out of his voice. Though obviously an admirable intention, things might be better if they cooled it a bit. The dynamic variation between verses and choruses works perfectly, and Alex has a beautiful voice; making it a bit more vaudeville Matt Bellamy isn’t necessary. That’s why the choruses of ‘A Shark Among Wolves’ and ‘This Poisonous Town’ are so good; the vocals have gotten into their flow and feel effortless, making them so much more believable and easier to engage with.
As far as criticisms go though, that’s about it. Production quality has improved in the transition from singles to a fully-fledged EP, and it’s clear they’ve got the directions down for the road they’re taking. All in all, if they’re really right and we’re going down in a pink toxic mess, then I’m sticking with them. Anyone who’s nice enough to say that even the destructive beast ‘wanted no war, just a moment of peace’ (‘A Shark Amongst Wolves’) and have delicious fun amidst the misery is quite alright by me.