Album Review: Rad Max – Straight To Video

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Rad Max

Straight To Video - Self Released

Remember the eighties? Portland, OR’s Rad Max clearly do, or they have at least immersed themselves in the decade that taste forgot as “Straight to Video” is a sub 30 minute love letter to that era, more specifically the movies of the eighties. A passing glance at the artwork for “Straight To Video” would convince you this album is approaching middle age, it might not be, but the album’s subject matter certainly is. This is a band that clearly hold the eighties in high esteem, this might be confusing for those of that lived through it, but it was a decade that left a lasting imprint on culture, and on Rad Max

The first track to hit you is ‘Flix From 86‘ and it does hit you, with 27 eighties movie references in less than three minutes of gloriously dorky pop punk. From here we’re off into endless movie references, from ‘Driller Killer‘, a ode to the endless slasher movies of that time, through ‘Wham Bam Trans Am‘, one of the most iconic / ridiculous vehicles from that era, and ‘All Hail Zoltar‘, the fortune telling vending machine that was a convenient plot device in several iconic movies. ‘Is That Freedom Rock‘ and ‘Psychodorks‘ keep things flying along in a blur of pop culture references, the paranoid ‘The Computer Controls The Tower‘ revisits a popular eighties movie theme along with the funky ‘Working Girl‘, before we get to the album’s final track, ‘Yo! Rumsfield‘, a glorious tribute to The Burbs

If you take Nerf Herder‘s dorky charm and cross it with the delivery of Even In Blackouts then you have a rough idea of what to expect, Rad Max blend punk, pop and add a few rock flourishes, because you can’t reference the eighties properly without a touch of big haired rock. My original plan was to list all the movie references on the album, but you might as well just google eighties cult movies as we’d be here all day, if you’re looking for a fun album that will trigger nostalgic recollections, and have you searching through your movie streaming platforms for movies that you’d forgotten about, then rewind the cassette, because no one ever did, sit back and hit play. 

Straight to Video” will be self released on the 10th April and is now available for pre-order  via Bandcamp here