Review: Dextrous, Dynamic and Authentic to its Core – Melbourne Five-Piece Radio Free Alice Share Self Titled Debut EP

In a year which saw Floodlights make a clean sweep of the UK’s gig and festival circuit with their heart-spilled-out-on-sleeve indie graces, following hotly on their heels come fellow Melbourne five-piece Radio Free Alice, who this month release their self-titled debut EP.

Taking their name, in part, from R.E.M’s debut single – all the anthemic and jangly implications such a moniker implies are fully justified on opening track ‘Waste of Space’. Skipping and chopping with a Strokes-like pulse,  glittering synths and sugar-bright guitars take flight under the bittersweetness of adolescent whimsy. Its distinctive vocal encapsulates such sentimental flourishes – think the Smiths or, 80s antipodean heroes The Go-Betweens. Similarly outward reaching is the EP’s closer ‘Look What You’ve Done’, its acoustic-guitar drive reminding us of those other Melbourne breakouts Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever. 

On the other side of all this sheen come all the rougher, more erratic punk edges of sub-two minute frenzies ‘Paris is Gone’, and ‘I Gotta (Fall in Love)’. Showing that Radio Free Alice are not ones to keep us coddled up in pop juiciness for long, the latter bristles with the innocent breakneck heart of classic Buzzcocks, while the former rollicks along with a thoroughbred indie-sleaze.

Dextrous, dynamic and authentic to its core, Radio Free Alice find themselves set to make a few waves in 2024.

The Radio Free Alice EP is out now and you can listen in full here.

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