Review: Radium Dolls @ The Bearded Lady (Brisbane)

Radium Dolls are a punk-rock band from Brisbane.
Tim is a Brisbane-based writer who loves noisy music, gorgeous pop, weird films, and ice cream.

The stench of sweat brewed inside Brisbane's The Bearded Lady. Summer has begun, with the humidity levels reaching unbearable levels.

Despite this, a sold-out crowd (2 December) packed themselves tight inside the venue. Sweaty body pressed against sweaty body, and electricity buzzed in the air in anticipation for Radium Dolls to further turn up the temperature.

The young Brisbane rockers have been bringing the heat for some time now. The band have built a devoted following thanks to the high energy they inject into their live shows and recordings, especially their howling calling-card 'Tractor Parts'.

Recently, the band have added a new banger to their growing discography in the form of 'CIA', which the band launched to a devoted home-town crowd.

"Stay hydrated," the guitarist from opening act Knee called out over squeals of feedback. The local trio's bassist growled into their mic as they furiously plucked the heaviest string on their instrument. At the crack of a snare drum, the trio gunned it, blasting through tracks like the appropriately titled 'Speed Hog'.

The singer of local supports Care huddled close to their mic like their space was shrinking. As a snare rolled throughout the verse, building tension, a low moan crawled out of the vocalist's mouth. Two guitars resembled the sound of tomcats fighting over territory, adding menace to a great set of trashy post-punk.

Radium Dolls' drummer Bryce Equinox was the first of the band to take the stage, bravely sporting a long-sleeve white shirt, black tie, and black trousers. Directing a thumbs up at the crowd, he sat at his stool and laid down a mighty beat.

Ignoring the room's mugginess, the crowd rushed to the stage, mixing their sweat into a soup. Guitarist Tom Perkins and bassist Ewan Day entered, both wearing full black shades and black suits that quickly dampened in the humidity.

Finally, also wearing a black jacket and shades, frontman Will Perkins strode to the stage's lip and sneered into the mic, "Hey, gorgeous! I bet your boyfriend likes me more than you!"

"We're putting 'CIA' at the top of the set because it's hot in these suits," announced Will. The rhythm section laid down a tight disco groove, punctuated with Tom's stuttering lick, and Will rid himself of his jacket, tossing it into the crowd. "Five dollars off of marketplace," he said. "It could be worth ten by tomorrow!"

As the band sped through their set, pieces of the band's suits disappeared until all four were shirtless and glistening underneath the stage lights. Between songs, Tom buried his face into his jacket, towelling the soupy waterfall he'd built up with his riffing and jogging. Meanwhile, his brother Will opted to shake his bleach-blonde mane at the crowd.

Of course, the band ended their set with 'Tractor Parts'. The crowd sang along with Will's monologue, but once the final chorus ignited, the crowd exploded. The mosh became a pinball game, with fans bouncing off each other.

The guitarist from openers Knee climbed onto the stage and dived into the whirlpool. Swiping off his shades and exposing the wild eyes hiding behind them, Will roared: "Tractor parts are easy to come by in country towns!"

Throughout their set, unfamiliar songs appeared, including the opening tune. "We're recording an album," Will announced, which was met with cheers. "Christmas is coming in February!"

Hopefully the weather will have cooled by then, but the heat around Radium Dolls will be off the charts.

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