Radar Bros.

Radar Bros. is about nuance; as well-tempered as any other slowcore act --- and that stretches from Low to Mazzy Star to Spain --- this trio crawls from point to point, distinctly picking up one emotion and dropping off another before heading to the next destination. They move between spare and dense blocks with the tempo regulated and solid, communicating with guitar and bass a fountain of emotions that the ambiguous lyrics obfuscate. Were leader and guitarist/singer Jim Putnam (formerly of Medicine and Maids of Gravity) a Brit, his art would be hailed as the next big thing, but as an act on Restless Records, the indie diskery that recently became part of Arnon Milchan's New Regency group, the band stands out as an act worthy of considerable attention.

With:
Band: Jim Putnam, Senon Williams, Steve Goodfriend. Reviewed Aug. 13, 1997; also Aug. 20 and 27.

Putnam uses chord structures that recall Neil Young’s “liquid” period of the mid-’70s, a certain 3 a.m. after-hours feel that easily capitulates between anger and contentment, lust and confusion. The Radar Bros.’ shifting wall of sound allows Putnam to duel himself — sleepy and winsome vocals vs. taut guitar lines — almost questioning the changing moods before allowing each one to wash over him.

The Radar Bros.’ debut EP earned considerable critical acclaim and the group’s full-length debut is an impressive continuation of the earlier disc’s promise. Live, though, you get a little closer to Putnam’s motivations and find an extra layer or two in a host of songs that essentially sound the same yet affect the listener differently at every turn. An impressive feat.

Radar Bros.

LunaPark; 200 capacity; $5

Production: Presented inhouse

Cast: Band: Jim Putnam, Senon Williams, Steve Goodfriend. Reviewed Aug. 13, 1997; also Aug. 20 and 27.

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