Boss Tuneage / Waterslide (2018)
In what is rapidly becoming a recurring theme, this is another 2018 album that I wasn't able to get until after the new year had passed. As a result, I'm beginning to feel like my end of the year list is becoming woefully inaccurate as the weeks go by. I'll once again blame it on moving into my first house and some tightness in the wallet for the second half of the year. No matter what the reason, the fact is that Rad Owl should have made an appearance on that list as Madison Beast is a pretty great album.
While the artwork on the album cover may lead you to think this is either some sort of foreign metal band or a lost 70s prog rock album, Madison Beast actually pays homage to the 90s sounds of bands like Big Drill Car and other Cruz or C/Z records acts. There's a distinct 90s feel to the album with the perfect mix of chugging guitar riffs and secondary guitar leads. These guys have chops for sure, but they use them for good and not for evil, overdrawn guitar wanking.
There are folks in this band that were in Samiam, The Stereo and PopKid alumni Marble (as long as I live, I will never tire of listening to their cover of "Holiday Road"). Rad Owl feels like a conglomeration of those past experiences. It's good enough to hang with any of those 90s bands, but is still forward thinking enough to keep me thoroughly engaged in 2019.
Rad Owl - Madison Beast: