You kids these days…let me tell ya! Not to give those impressionable, trend-hopping minds the opportunity to slap some kind of stupid-ass label on me for saying this, but at the age of thirty-five, I’ve reached the point where I’ve seen and heard enough clueless and even disrespectful behavior at the hands of the modern day floor-punching, karate-kid-in-the-pit mob, without a doubt. I’m talking about the practically fresh-outta-the-womb set that claim with every ounce of their being that they’re legit hellraisers while never even putting forth any effort or paying any dues whatsoever, when it comes to the immense world of extreme music. Sure, you and three or four of your best buddies started a band and annoyed the shit out of your parents practicing for a week in the garage before for your first and only show…while your little sister slaved away making your band’s myspace or facebook profile oh so impressive to the poorly photoshopped “sikk and br00tal” crowd. Sure, you’ve tried unbelievably hard to sound exactly like a billion other shit bands. Sure, your band has a couple of “rad” t-shirt designs out there, chock full of bubbly, neon-as-fuck artwork with a teddy bear eating a defenseless little bunny, or some shit like that.
Your band undoubtedly tried for a whole week to get that shit up for sale at the local Hot Topic, where all the cool kids hang out. And sure, I know…you and your allegedly amazing band have probably played a handful of shows at the local Elks lodge, church picnic or decrepit all-ages venue. Your band has only played out with a few other assholes you know from school, who all have the same rockstar attitude, and their band is just as lousy as your band and you all know you‘re a dime a dozen. You think you and your swoop-haired pals are breaking out, making a big mark on the metal landscape. But, hear this ye of growing and/or oblivious minds: you don’t know shit! You haven’t seen shit! And, maybe most importantly, you haven’t done shit! You’ve all got a lot to learn about artistic integrity and keeping one’s nose to the proverbial grindstone. Bear witness to the kind of band that ripped shit apart from the ground up in the 80’s, alongside greats like Cannibal Corpse, Autopsy, and Suffocation…and came back from the dead to do it all over again! Take notice of Indianapolis death/grind warlords, Radiation Sickness!
The band’s lonnng awaited new release, Reflections of a Psychotic Past (Abyss Records), is coupled here with the o.g. 1990 release, The Other Me: A Journey into Insanity. Yes, vocalist Doug Palmer (from Innndiaaanapolllliis) and cohorts have clawed their way out of the grave and administered a double dose of mind-melting crossover annihilation. It’s the kind of shit your mom should’ve warned you about, the very second your shitty metalcore band even picked up guitars. With inspiration forged from the likes of Napalm Death, Slayer and D.R.I., this collection is proof positive that Radiation Sickness have not only stuck to their guns, but can still deliver with the same lethality as they did twenty years ago. This time around, we see a simultaneous delivery of the old and new. With the newer material taking on a more old school death metal approach, at least by way of riffing and percussion (see “Demented Love Song 2”, “Tripping in the Seas of Madness”, and “Graveside View”), the older side of this collection contains a more thrash-related element here and there (such as “Disfigured Retard“ and “No Future“)…and even strays into a vibe reminiscent of Suicidal Tendencies on “Escape to Insanity”.
Filled to the brim with a sentiment rooted in the dark, real life realms of depression, hopelessness, and human mortality, this collection shows that Radiation Sickness stayed their post the first time around, and have more than what it takes to run with today’s pack with just as much sincere ferocity, if not more in some cases. What we have here is nineteen raging tracks that serve as positive proof Radiation Sickness are indeed back from the fucking dead!!