New Radiant Storm King
New Radiant Storm King
Label: Contraphonic
Genre: Rock
Online: Artist Website


When placing music into one's personal history, bands often appear as nostalgic photographs of the time and place in which they were first experienced. In the early 1990s indie-rock heyday, when a certain vibrancy reverberated throughout a yet un-factioned scene, New Radiant Storm King was the Polaroid. A true, direct portrait of a vivid, energetic bunch of Western Massachusetts college kids who delved directly into their art with a smart-aleck shrug of confidence, determination and abandon. New Radiant Storm King joined their Massachusetts brethren such as Buffalo Tom and Dinosaur Jr. in producing epic release after epic release and incessantly touring. It was a dedication to craft that like-minded folk all over the country were starting to fully believe in, and NRSK, along with new-found friends such as Polvo, Rodan, and Guided By Voices, became representatives of an emerging, fully formed underground, and not necessarily a loose association of regional scenes.

The band was quick to document and release records, building an impressive discography of three full-length albums and eight singles on such luminary indie labels as Axis, Homestead, and Grass Records by 1994, the year they left college. While the decade wore on, and several bands who had covered or been inspired by New Radiant Storm King songs - Small Factory, Joe Pernice, Those Bastard Souls, Guided By Voices - became stars, NRSK became heroes of obscurity, languishing in indie integrity. Despite their mythic status, line-up and label snafus and the death of a co-founding member (Eli Miller-RIP), main members Matt Hunter and Peyton Pinkerton never lost sight or focus of their work. From their involvement with the Silver Jews, the Wharton Tiers Ensemble, and the Pernice Brothers to their most recent full-length, 2002's Winter's Kill (Rainbow Quartz), the central force and ideas that have always driven the band - to powerfully play powerful pop with no pretension - have never dimmed.