Album Review: Radio Alcatraz – It’s All Coming Up Roses

No matter where you look these days, everybody is saying how the world is fucked. The media is corrupt. The government is hiding the truth. The working man is being made to look a mug. The police are abusing their power. Even the beloved music industry is being sold out for the sake of a few extra fivers. It’s hard to escape the negativity that is pulsing through the valleys and rivers of the United Kingdom. Calling for a revolution is one thing, but pushing through and actually making it happen is a whole different world. Bands have been trying to soundtrack the uprising for decades now, but none have succeeded. However London’s Radio Alcatraz are looking to change that with their second album ‘It’s All Coming Up Roses’, and the future is already looking a bit brighter.

Kicking off proceedings with the wonderfully titled ‘Industry Has Failed, Activate the Black Magic’, the band slam their intentions of change down on the table in a sea of disorientated riffs and rousing vocals. The pent up aggression of the band spreads itself over every track, screaming for change and calling out the countries errors. Post hardcore has somehow managed to lose it’s way since it’s baptism in the mid 2000’s, but from the get go Radio Alcatraz are bringing back the glory days. The fire in their bellies and passion on their lips that once defined a whole scene is apparent as the exhausting riffing on ‘Exchanging Hunting Tips With The Devil’ and ‘Get Back In The Car’ (featuring Jamie Lenman and Justin Scholsburg of Hell Is For Heroes respectively) ooze into the punk laden exuberance of ‘Saturday Night Stick Up’.

More than anything, Radio Alcatraz are singing for the little man. The average Joe on the street slugging it Monday to Friday so he can just get by. The person who is making the country tick while the ones at the top bugger it all up. Sure there is anger, a lot of it, but its controlled and clever. Rather than hiding their feelings behind a simple “fuck you” and a beatdown, the band let it all go in a polished, rousing and spirited whirlwind of emotions and opinions. This is brave music for the forward thinker.

Every lyric on ‘It’s All Coming Up Roses’ seems to have been picked with intent, and designed to be screamed from the top of your lungs. “You’ve got a right to know, you’ve got rights” vocalist Simon Griffiths shrieks on ‘Holiday In A Police State’ before ‘To The End’ shifts the pace to a calmer but no less impassioned style, crooning “there are no gentlemen in this game”. Bringing the riot to a booming close, 7 minute epic ‘Sleeping Limb’ with the help of Cancer Bat’s own Liam Cornier kicks you in the shin, gobs in your eye then leaves to think about what you did in the most beautifully punk way possible.

Overall ‘It’s All Coming Up Roses’ is a towering and damning piece of work, picking and clawing at the flaws of the world that we take for granted and turning them into something poignant and intoxicating. Coating their venom with silky melody, rapturous beats and a punk rock heart of gold, Radio Alcatraz may just be four blokes letting the world know what they think the only way they know how, but it may be the call to arms that the scene needed. If the revolution is coming, it may have just found its soundtrack.


It’s All Coming Up Roses by Radio Alcatraz is out now on Radio Alcatraz Music.

Radio Alcatraz links: Facebook|Twitter|Bandcamp

Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)


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