Radiator King “Roll The Dice” (SoundEvolution Records, 2019)

‘Roll The Dice’ is the latest release from Brooklynite Radiator King (aka Adam Silvestri). His first release since 2017’s ‘A Hollow Triumph After All’, Silvestri has established himself amongst the latest wave of earnest songwriters who have been brought up on punk, but perform Americana-inspired rock and roll and this latest EP is more of the same.

Opener ‘Raylene’ lays the groundwork with Weezer-esque fingerpicked riffs and the frontman’s raspy drawl defiantly charges into the foreground. The title track is three minutes of Springsteen-inspired earnestness. Unashamedly name-checking girls named Maria and landmarks at will, the track is a slow-build which culminates in an excellent keys solo from producer Shaul Eshet. ‘On The Mountain’, which closes the EP is a different beast entirely. A tribalistic chant of “out here on the mountain, we sing our songs” rings out over wailing guitars and The Dresden Dolls’ Brian Viglione’s thundering drums. The end result sounds utterly anthemic and is a real treat.

Radiator King will never win any awards for originality and isn’t quite in the same league as the likes of Brian Fallon, Chuck Ragan et al, who are far better at doing a very similar thing. That being said, Silvestri has an unquestionable ear for melody, and ‘Roll The Dice’ is certainly a fine example of it.

The latest EP from Radiator King treads familiar waters, but with enough tenacity to stay interesting.
7/10

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