Radioactivity: “Pretty Girl”

All this week, the Song of the Day spotlights artists playing Sound On Sound Fest, happening November 4-6.

About a decade ago, the Marked Men exploded out of the Denton punk scene, releasing four albums before going on something of a hiatus in 2009. The band has proved to be like a baseball bat to a windshield though, splintering off in a hundred different directions up and down the I-35 corridor. There’s the sci-fi punk of Mind Spiders, whose synthy songs make them sound like Devo on speed. There’s the shout-along urgency of High Tension Wires. And then there’s Radioactivity, a punk band with such laser focus they make the Ramones sound like a prog-rock bombasts.

Radioactivity features members of the Marked Men and Denton/Austin’s Bad Sports, and across two albums, the band has perfected a form of punk that’s aggressive but pop-obsessed. The songs are usually three chords but sometimes they only use one, riding a tightly-coiled engine that’s as catchy as it is menacing. “Pretty Girl,” though, is pure punk beauty. It’s got all the Radioactivity trademarks–drum machine-like rhythms, jagged guitars, Jeff Burke’s full-throated croon–but it’s arranged as an epic, album-closing mic drop. Like the band, it’s refreshingly simple and infinitely replayable.

“Pretty Girl” appears on Silent Kill, out now via Dirtnap. Radioactivity plays Sound On Sound Fest on Saturday, November 5 at 3:1o p.m. on the Keep stage.

–Art Levy // host, Sundays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., producer, My KUTX

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