NME (Magazine) - "The opening title track chugs along like teen goths skulking through a graveyard, until Dee's deep voice booms through the chorus resembling Nick Cave fronting Misfits."
Personnel: Isaiah Radke (throat singing); Dee Radke (guitar); Solomon Radke (drums).
Audio Mixer: Ross Orton.
Recording information: McCall Sound Studios and Soundworks.
After issuing a pair of well-received EPs in 2013, brothers Dee, Isaiah, and Solomon Radke, all of whom were well under the voting age at the time of release, looked poised to bring their vintage, Misfits-obsessed punk rock sound to the world's stage. After a vigorous bout of touring (and home schooling), the St. Joseph, Missouri-based trio headed into the studio and began work on their much anticipated debut long-player. Recorded in San Francisco, California and Sheffield, England with producer Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys, the Fall, Jarvis Cocker), the resulting Dark Black Makeup is an old-school blast of misunderstood youth-fueled horror punk that's delivered with both punch and panache. It also couldn't have been created without the existence of the Misfits' 1982 debut full-length, Walk Among Us, due in large part to frontman Dee's spot-on Glenn Danzig impersonation (to be fair, he tosses in a little Ian Astbury, Nick Cave, and Jim Morrison for good measure). The songs themselves are economical, melodic, and bristling with teen angst and nervy bravado, with highlights arriving via the propulsive "Romance Down," the classic rock-tinged "Hunger Pain," and the meaty, Social Distortion/Ramones-blasted title cut, which opens on a knowingly ironic note with the line "kids these days." Barely out of their teens, the band's enthusiastic aping of their idols can be forgiven (they even go so far as to build the largely nonsensical "Le Song" around the lyric "come a little bit closer," which is the refrain from the Walk Among Us gem "Vampira"), but they'll need to dial down the hero worship on future endeavors if they ever want to establish their own legacy of brutality. [In 2016 the band re-released Dark Black Makeup as Delicious Rock Noise via Another Century. It included the bonus tracks "Marvel" and "Teen Titans Theme."] ~ James Christopher Monger