There’s a song, No Connection, halfway through Radioactivity’s sophomore album Silent Kill stretching nearly three and a half minutes. In this context, that’s practically Bohemian Rhapsody.
Jeff Burke and his bandmates — Mark Ryan, Gregory Rutherford and Daniel Fried — aren’t much for introspection or length; the default for this DFW-based garage-punk outfit is loud, fast and furious. The four musicians aren’t straying too far from previous interests: Burke and Ryan previously performed as Marked Men, while Rutherford and Fried comprise two-thirds of Bad Sports.
All that to say Silent Kill is a kinetic piece of work, one whipping by less than half an hour, but not before bruising your speakers with one frenzied gem after another: opener Battered, Not Here and the title track all leave you begging for more. “I wanted the songs themselves to be catchy, but without the use of overly poppy vocal melodies,” Burke told Billboard last month. Mission accomplished.
Radioactivity performs Monday at Denton’s Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio with Tenement and June 18 at Dallas’ Sons of Hermann Hall with Ceremony and Tony Molina.
Andy Pickett, ‘It Happens Every Night’
You’d be forgiven listening to singer-songwriter Andy Pickett’s It Happens Every Night for thinking the record is his third or sixth or eleventh studio effort. The Fort Worth musician simply doesn’t display anything resembling nerves on the 11-track collection, which mines a mercifully under-exploited corner of musical nostalgia: sophisticated pop-rock straight out of the sepia-toned ‘70s, in the spirit of Harry Nilsson or Nick Lowe. Produced by Eagle Audio Recording’s owner Jerry Hudson and recorded by Britt Robisheaux and Jeff Ward, Night is a masterful debut, a low-key but forceful announcement of yet another Cowtown talent poised for bigger and better things. Pickett will celebrate the album’s release Saturday at the Chat Room Pub.
Rahim Quazi, ‘Ghost Hunting’
For his third full-length album, Dallas singer-songwriter Rahim Quazi surrounded himself with no shortage of talented pals, tapping Rick G. Nelson as a co-producer and calling upon John Dufilho, Kelly Test and Salim Nourallah, among others, to contribute musically. But for all the guests on Ghost Hunting, the focus is fully upon Quazi, who also logs time in local collective Matthew and the Arrogant Sea. Over these 13 tracks, Quazi’s facility with melodies swaying between beautiful and bleak comes to the fore — Tiny Flower is a stand-out, as is the shimmering, haunting title track. Quazi celebrates Hunting’s arrival Wednesday at Dallas’ Kessler Theater.
Preston Jones, 817-390-7713