TRACKING: Radiator Hospital - "Our Song"

SOUNDS LIKE: Every single cult-hero pop band that never caught on and was doomed to seven-inches in record nerds’ overflowing vinyl collection rolled into one digestible tasty pop smoothie.

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: By the first chorus you’ll be singing along, by the second chorus you’ll be dancing and by the end of the two minute sunshine explosion you’ll be looking up the cult-hero pop bands that never caught on and joining the nerdy power-pop collective.

With a track title like “Our Song” and the opening shouts from the Philadelphia based Radiator Hospital, you’d think this song was a celebration of young love, but just like every brilliant pop song there is something going on much deeper than carefree shouts and a pummeling chord sequence reminiscent of a young Arctic Monkeys. “Our Song” is the first single off their debut album Something Wild and clocking in at barely over two minutes the band sets up a sturdy and reliable profile as being one of the smartest power-pop bands around.

There is always something to be said for a band that not only knows their music history, but studies it on an obsessive level and one look at the bands Facebook page and blog posts reveal name checks and references to the likes of Nick Lowe and Matthew Sweet. If one thing is clear by the end of the song it’s that this band knows their way around the pop-formula. Guitars come across as trebly explosions not melody makers, the drums never go below eleven on the noise scale and somehow front-man Sam Cook-Parrott’s yelp ties what should be a disjointed simplistic mess into something very special.

The beauty of “Our Song” is in just how much is hidden behind its 2:17 running time. It treads lightly and tiptoes through every pop sub-genre imaginable, sometimes you hear the Matthew Sweet influence, other times you hear the pop-punk chugging that would usually make me run for cover but Radiator Hospital somehow creates a pop collage, picking and choosing only the best parts from long lost cult heroes. While lyrically the song explores the sadness of a dying relationship and phrases like “I hear you crying alone in the shower/but I don’t make a sound I just hope that he loves you” make you question whether this is a celebration of young love or a final burst of heartbreak. 

<a href="http://radiatorhospital.bandcamp.com/album/something-wild">Something Wild by Radiator Hospital</a>