Radville – Heavy Surf

Stuttering grooves that punch you in the gut when you least expect them; the most singable guitar riff you will ever air guitar to before realizing its in polymeter; bold breaks interrupted by massive shots; welcome to… Radville.


Radville is an instrumental math-rock duo of Rob Morrison on guitar, Mike Thieven on drums, and for their upcoming self-titled record they are joined on bass by Travis Packer. Those of you digging up your scene-history books might recognize they previously collaborated in National Frost, but you shouldn’t expect a similar sound even though they both feature the intricate and complex playing of the trio.

Pictured: A duo, not a trio – photo by Chris Graham

Their debut single “Heavy Surf” lives up to at least half of its name – there is no denying this is heavy music. That being said it doesn’t really conjure up anything for me I would relate to “surf“. Regardless of what the music is supposed to evoke, they demonstrate what it means to be heavy tightly and compactly, clocking in at just under three minutes. There are no guitar odysseys or upside-down drum solos – Radville only has time for the good stuff to get your head banging.

Math-rock fans will have much to appreciate and dissect, but those of us still afraid of long division have a lot of things to enjoy too. It doesn’t require a degree to enjoy the guitar work of Morrison, even though the main guitar riff of “Heavy Surf” is so perfect it must follow the golden mean. You don’t need a degree to get caught up in Thieven’s  aggressive-yet-dancey drums, although I might still need some help learning how to actually dance to them. Until I do learn how to dance in 15/8 time, I don’t mind if I look like a fool as I try to keep up and I doubt you will either.

Radville will be releasing their next single before Christmas 2015 and their album in the winter of 2016. In the meantime, check them out Friday December 18th at O’Hanlons opening for Dagan Harding and their single “Heavy Surf” streaming over on Exclaim.

– Jon Neher


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