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