Not any part of Good Machine, the first full-length from the San Francisco quartet the Radishes, could be singled out as awful. The band sounds a lot like the Stooges or Motor City Five. In fact, the entire Detroit-punk-rock checklist — heavy bass, greasy guitar riffs, sneering vocals — is pretty much checked off. But even though the members of the Radishes deliver a reasonable facsimile of their genre’s best works, they have brought nothing original to the party.
Good Machine doesn’t draw inspiration from so much as rework the sounds of more successful bands. The album rebounds at the end with a trio of songs led by the catchy “Jackie Says,” but even the guitar riff on this song seems lifted from “Cherub Rock.” Another of the three, “Hook Me Up,” suffers similarly, cribbing the signature guitar and vocals from the Pixies. The only song left is “Drink with the Dead,” which sounds pretty good, but I can’t help wondering where I’ve heard it before.
On Good Machine, the Radishes have proven themselves to be able musicians. What’s unclear is if they can evolve into a viable, original band.