Radiator Hospital – Play the Songs You Like

DIY hipster/punk-ish bands are a dime a dozen these days. They all sound basically the same, like generic, out-of-tune Jawbreaker rip-offs ’cause they’re too lazy to tune their guitars. Hell, they even all dress the same. They wear a uniform – ratty looking Tom’s Shoes or Converse; short shorts in the summer, preferably cut-offs; skinny jeans in the winter; vintage-looking, ironic t-shirts; shitty beards, even if they can’t grow one; and nerd glasses, even if they don’t need glasses. The bands aren’t even all that punk-ish. The punk attitude is surely gone within this scene. It’s been replaced with shitty, entitled, rich-kid faux-hippies trying to hit bottom. These particular bands are usually PC/social justice warrior types and come with a rule book/instruction manual for the crowd (if there is a crowd watching them) to follow. The rule book/instruction manual is constantly changing, so it’s hard to keep up with the rules, so you better make good friends with the cool kids/bands if you don’t wanna get blackballed within this particular bullshit scene. These bands emulate watered-down, fake news punk bands and bullshit artists like Joyce Manor, who don’t allow fans on stage or to stage dive/crowd surf, etc., or to have any kind of fun whatsoever. One could easily lump Radiator Hospital and their latest release into this category, as they match all the required criteria. Having said that, their album’s a very well put together effort for this type of band.

It truly doesn’t matter what format or genre a song is in. If a song is a good song it’s going to be a good song no matter what, and this record is full of good songs. Now, they’re not great songs by any means, but they are good songs, and the whole album stays very consistent from beginning to end. The production is very simple, straightforward, raw, and real. Radiator Hospital sounds very tight on the album for the kind of music they play, a really ironically loose, no-frills, indie-punk rock ‘n’ roll record. All the songs are short, nothing lingers on too long, so the record keeps on moving at a rapid pace even though there are quite a few slower numbers included.

Only complaints? Vocalist Sam Cook-Parrot at many times mumbles so incoherently in such a lackadaisical fashion that he comes off as either drunk/high or extremely ungifted – he may be both. The songs themselves are decent, but they end so atrociously bad, like a shitty, unrehearsed local band that doesn’t know what they’re doing. I understand that Radiator Hospital are trying to be this ultra-cool, hipster DIY band to this hard-to-please small niche of people, that they’re trying to keep up appearances and all, but they should at least have some professional dignity. The song endings are just horrid.

Radiator Hospital 
Play The Songs You Like 
[Salinas]