Gowanus trio Radical Dads are a bold, beaming, lo-fi treat–as brassy as the Screaming Females/Jeff The Brotherhood breed of nu-grunge, but with the snappy snarl of ’90s D.C. indie. Their ear for hooks (one member was in Clap Your Hands Say Yeah) is occasionally trampled by their love of noisemaking, and their Dino Jr.-ready melodies often get completely swallowed by rockslides of feedback and Moogy trickle. Debut album Mega Rama (out June 14 on Uninhabitable Mansions) is set to feature nine tracks of the stuff, and its opening single “New Age Dinosaur” is a perfect mix of the sweet and the screechtastic. Somewhere in its blown-out blurgle, vocalist Lindsay Baker nails some perfectly wistful/nostalgic Portland harmonies. Twin guitarists Baker and Chris Diken (no bassist!) create some dissonant interplay–all before being totally pestered by a nervous acid-punk mosquito drone in the bridge.
What is “New Age Dinosaur” about?
Every band has a song in which they tackle big ideas. So in order to get that song out of our system, we wrote “New Age Dinosaur” about humans, nature, energy, decay, and the recording industry. Now we can finally focus on the incidental topics.
What inspired it lyrically?
The lyrics are inspired by the way California seems to embody the past, present, and future better than any other place we’ve been to. And so the song is loosely based on the following, in no particular order: the time trap that is the La Brea Tar Pits; phenomena at Mono Lake; the Salton Sea; Lake Pirul and the Miami airport.
How did you make the bubbly feedback noise sounds over the bridge/last verse?
We lowered a boom mic to just above the surface of the tar pits in order to capture the sound of escaping methane bubbles. Then, for good measure, we added some Moog Rogue owned by Chicago electromusicologist Peter Speer.
Do any of you actually have radical dads? What makes them so radical?
Yes, all of us do. Mr. Baker is an expert food guide and loves America’s grandest creature, the buffalo. Mr. Guertin is a semi-professional rock music archivist. And Mr. Diken comes to nearly every show and regularly tells us to “turn it up, for crying out loud.” Problem is, the amps are already up all the way.
What’s the most memorable show you’ve played in New York?
In December we played at Bruar Falls with some of our awesomest buds, Conversion Party and Little Gold. This was during the Great New York City Blizzard/Snowplow Debacle of 2010, so we had to overcome nature using a combination of trains, planes, and automobiles in order to get back to Brooklyn in time. But the show ended up being super fun, and we really showed nature who is boss.
What’s your favorite place to eat in Brooklyn?
Radical Dads play Cake Shop on May 12 with Shark?, Old Monk and The New Colossus; and Glasslands on May 20 with Cymbals Eat Guitars, Mirror Mirror and the Yellow Dogs