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Radar State | Strays

The emo supergroup is definitely barking up the right tree on their debut disc.

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These days, you take your rock where you can get it. Thankfully, Radar State’s particular brand of rock isn’t hard to take at all. The Kansas City emo supergroup features former members of The Get Up Kids, Anniversary, Gadjits, Architects and other likeminded bands — and to anyone who’s ever heard any of those bands, Radar State’s pedigree will be fairly obvious in short order. But their debut album Strays is no sad-sack throwback to the days of guyliner, anguish and sesquipedalian song titles. If anything, these top-shelf pop-punk cuts err on the side of brevity, directness and wiry energy. Riffs come big and crunchy, choruses are hooky and harmonized, solos are crisp and clean and the drums keep things moving at a good clip. Sometimes it sounds a little like The Clash. Other times it sounds a tad like The Replacements or Ramones. Mostly it sounds like a group of vets celebrating their musical heritage without belabouring the point. They’re definitely barking up the right tree.