Album Review: Radstewart – ‘Wiccans and Beatlemancers’

Wiccans_and_Beatlemancers_1440Radstewart’s debut EP proper, ‘Wiccans and Beatlemancers’ is as confident and catchy an indie pop record as you’ll hear this year. The Cardiff boys have garnered a great deal of interest lately and ‘Wiccans…’ serves to continue their rise to indie royalty in the ‘diff.

The EP starts with a riff very similar to The Pixies garage classic ‘Where Is My Mind?’ This may be an easy comparison to draw, and the bands style is somewhat inviting to such allusions, but it is certainly not a criticism. It is clear from the off that Radstewart have influences, but then again, who doesn’t? The band’s lyrics immediately add a unique character to the band. Witty lines such as ‘They’ll never fix the roads because they know that students don’t pay tax’, are rife, even The Taf gets a name-check.

Radstewart certainly are wordy, each track is dripping with linguistic wit and is all the more charming for it. Airing just on the right side of pretension, Radstewart make their university education clear – it frames everything on show here in a goofy, irresistibly nostalgic way.

Radstewart prove that they can do punk too. On ‘Student Wiccans’ the guitars reach a discordant and chaotic climax not dissimilar to fellow Cardiff noisemakers Joanna Gruesome. What comes from this chaos is entirely different though, as a breezy indie pop guitar line grooves away it becomes clear that Radstewart are making things sound simple when, in fact, there is a lot going on underneath.

A lot of the band’s charm is found in the interplay between the two sets of guitars, softer moments are smooth and provide the perfect backing for scathing one liners: “If you go out and get drunk in a native American head dress, then you’re a c***”. The vibe is, as the band profess on Roath Country, “academic”.

Assuming you are reading this from your university digs in Cardiff, ‘Wiccans…” should resonate. We are in the perfect position to absorb every slice of wit, every twinkling guitar line and every “City Road… flat above the brothel” on offer here.

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