Thursday, March 7, 2013

Radio Bandits ep (1982, Zoa)

For whatever the reason, my expectations were high for the Radio Bandits, and luckily the first half of this ep is very much commendable - three scoops of deftly crafted power pop, illustrating that this trio (not counting the drummer) truly had "the knack" for what they were attempting to convey.  "Cellophane Girl" is some highly catchy shit, I might add.  As for side deux, our half-hour session plummets rapidly.  "Takes Two Fools" shifts the Bandits into pedestrian gear, tantamount to an AOR holdover from the late '70s.  "Mark of Cain" is an organ laced ballad that could practically pass for a Bruce Springsteen outtake, and the long and oh-so languid "Doublecrossed" barely registers a blip on the enthusiasm meter.  I cannot find a morsel of info on the Bandits anywhere, and for better or worse, this record appears to be their only release in circulation.

01. Suzy
02. Cellophane Girl
03. Tidal Wave
04. Takes Two Fools
05. Mark of Cain
06. Doublecrissed.



yeah, i bought this a while ago and looked up my review and your spot on, side 1 is good power pop, but Side 2 takes a bad turn into what I described as almost rockabilly. Nice obscurity though.

spavid said...

Didn't realize you had written this up. Definitely the proverbial mixed bag.

bglobe313 said...


I have only listened to this once (just now)?

What the hell happened on that second side? Were there two songwriters and this is how they split it? Or had the band made some switch from "rock" to "new wave"?!

"Mark Of Cain" would have fit right in on the Eddie and The Cruisers soundtrack as faux Springsteen, and on the final one I expected to see them ridin' on those backstreets at any moment (to steal a line from a review of Willie Nile's very good "Golden Down" LP).

Side 1 didn't overwhelm me (by now this blog has set that standard a lot higher than it would have been five years ago), but it's definitely good enough to give it a few more listens.

Ace K.

spavid said...

Ace, you are spot on! I'm pretty certain that two of the members wrote, so your assertion is probably correct. Musical differences surely tore them apart, as there was apparently no follow-up.

mine1 said...

Any chance of re-upping the Radio Bandits ep when you can?? Thanks. Great blog by the way.

pea said...

All three band members were also in a group called Lt. Elmo that put out a 12" EP the same year.

spavid said...

Appreciate the info. Thanks Pea!

pea said...

Lt. Elmo is firmly in the power-pop vein, and is in my opinion better than the Radio Bandits LP.

spavid said...

If you have digital files of this record please feel free to share! Thanks.

pea said...

Here ya go:

spavid said...

Awesome! Just saw this now. Thanks Pea!