Thursday, December 24, 2009
RADIO ACTIVE- Eyes In The Attic CD
(Pony Canyon Entertainment Pte Ltd 1993)
Dulcie Soh can make wave with Radio Active. Her new band after Do Not Ask (DNA) actively abused the geiger counter for a large part of the '90s radio when the radar zoomed in on the Singaporean ruckus. You sometimes wonder if Dulcie was a Triple Sciences student with her choice of bandnames. But she has just got the right kind of chemistry and formula for this band, a departure from the full of life science rock n' roll of DNA into the thinking man physics of Radio Active. She has forsaken her rock goddess leather jackets for the gothic little black dress, complete with the holy cross dichotomy and a more somber visage. Radio Active consists of her, ex-DNA comrade Jeff “Spookz” Long and Herey Teper, and it was formed one year after DNA went defunct. They released their one and only debut album “Eyes in the Attic” in '93, produced by Martin Tang, and a large part of the songwriting/music creative processes are split between Jeff and Dulcie. Herey Teper may be the bassist, but he is the official Radio Active Marlboro man; he is either seen smoking or holding out a box of Marlboro for endorsement.
On “Eyes in the Attic”, Radio Active continued the tradition of their adult oriented rock, oblivious to the more caustic and simplistic noise that were churning forth from the then “indie” Singapore music scene. “Needles and Pins”, “Eyes in the Attic” are more upbeat rock n'roll numbers amid the newfound Blondie influences in “Don't Take Advantage of my Good Nature” and “Soul Searchin'”. Incidentally, they covered Blondie's “Dreaming” on this album, as well as Bad Finger's “No Matter What”.
This album had a couple of famous hits active on the radio, like “Changes”, a hearfelt tearjerking ode to Dulcie's father laden with its interesting ethnic sound (didgeridoo intro?) and beautiful composition coupled with the worldly, passionate voice of Dulcie, and “To Be With You”, a ballad that seems rightfully at place on a radio roster full of Mr Big and Saigon Kick ballads. I remember quite recently I was driving one morning when I heard the Class 95 Morning Express trios played “Changes” out of the blue and after that Vernetta Lopez went kinda pensive and said in her low smoky voice that she felt good hearing this after a long time. Well, of course that morning some idiot messaged in and said that song is written by Tanya Chua (no offense to Tanya I love her too). Well, I admittedly still listen to the radio, albeit moreso for entertainment than for the music. I'd also have to confess that I first heard Radio Active's songs, and even The Padre's “Radio Station”...ironically on the radio. Maybe it's still pretty much trendy and cool to say that there's “nothing on the radio”. Well, “some thing's were better before, some thing's not the same anymore. Life's full of changes, they say...” You have the free will to change channel but I am not sure you will hear of Radio Active anymore again, on radio..
--sojourner at 7:09 PM