Radar Bros. The Singing Hatchet (SeeThru Broadcasting)

SXSW Records

Record Reviews

Radar Bros.

The Singing Hatchet (SeeThru Broadcasting)

Los Angeles threepiece the Radar Bros. lead those of us lacking the copious amounts of drugs and/or patience for space rock's lengthy, squeaking, squawking instrumentals gently into zero-gravity psychedelia. Instead of relying on excessive distortion and bad-trip noodling, vocalist-guitarist-producer Jim Putnam expands on Pink Floyd's delicate side, with quiet harmonies just barely fuzzed around the edges and lyrics whose meanings hover just beyond grasp ("by the rocks we throw, you will be clear to hear all the things we'll be calling you"). The 12 songs are as sparse as they are melodic, lending the album best to solitary headphone reverie or a soundtrack for bedtime. "Tar the Roofs" opens the album with only piano, vocals, and radio white noise, and from there, every song seems to have a singular and subtle weird noise backing the basic guitar-bass-drums combo; a little tuba here ("Five Miles"), a little keyboard drone there ("Find the Hour") suggest the titular singing hatchet. This second full-length slow-baked in Putnam's backyard studio (named "Skylab") is a grandiose, cathartic, and oddly beautiful gesture, like an astronaut cutting his tether and floating away from his ship. (Thursday, Mar 16, Copper Tank North, midnight)

****

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