The RT’s (formerly The Rad Trads) Keep Quirky Indie Rock Sounds In-tact on Self-titled LP (ALBUM REVIEW)

Almost a decade after starting their band, The Rad Trads thought it was time for an update. So, their latest album, a self-titled affair, features the band going under their new moniker The RT’s. Thankfully not too much has changed for this Brooklyn five piece; they still play a brilliantly quirky brand of indie rock that is part Morphine, part Spoon and Cake (thanks to the trumpet, though they might bristle at that last one) with plenty of originality mixed in.

This latest is a welcome evolution for the group and a great entre to new fans. There is a maturity to the songs here that justified the name change. “We made this album that felt more authentic and honest than anything we’d ever done, but it didn’t sound like a record by a band called The Rad Trads. So, it only felt right to take ownership of this next step in our evolution and abbreviate the name,” explained Patrick Sargent.

With the opening track, “Need You Right Now,” with the funk bass line and rim drumming leading to an impressive addictively, eclectic sing along, it’s clear the band is taking a huge step forward from last year’s See You Again. The RTs is a record born and raised in the studio unlike their earlier efforts that were mainly created on tour. Because of that there are plenty of experimental flourishes throughout that make for a compelling record. An earlier version of “Need You Right Now” had become a pre-pandemic regular in their show, but this latest version is a solid progression.  

Elsewhere, the band pulls out the acoustic guitars for the serene duo “Guilt” alongside Ana Egge, and on “Rest My Case,” a mellow fun pop number. They also show they aren’t afraid of the occasional dance-worthy number like on “Never Let Me Down.” There are the occasional moments on the album where it seems like the band may have drifted a bit too far from their original sound, especially on a track like “River,” but those moments are fleeting. For the most part this self-titled record is a fantastic snapshot of a band clearly growing more confident in their talent as songwriters and musicians. Their sound is all over the map, careening in and out of genres, but it’s a journey worth taking.

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