Radiation Four Wonderland

Sometimes being weird isn’t enough, especially if it isn’t done in an original way. Los Angeles, CA’s Radiation Four do possess an awful lot of talent and potential but their debut for Century Media’s "hardcore” imprint, Abacus, pins its influences to its sleeves, like a kid’s mittens on a snowy day. Of course, they are impressive influences and Radiation Four plies them incredibly well. Radiation Four delve deep into the world of Mike Patton, specifically Fantômas and Mr. Bungle — vocalist Chris Negrete sounds way too Patton and his created sounds come eerily close to emulation — and combine it with the frantic metallic hardcore chaos of the underground’s best (Converge, the Dillinger Escape Plan, Botch). The spastic technical calculations are there, the carnival-like insanity of early Bungle, some metallic hardcore flourishes and a whole bunch of musical "weirdness.” It is actually an engaging listen and put together, structurally, well, assuming of course you can overlook the blatant nods to their influences, which, like a cover album, makes you want to listen to the originators. Still, with their talent and the difficulty of the music they manage to pull off with ease, with time and innovation, something special will emerge. (Abacus)