This week, concert-goers have the chance to see local icon McRad, a Philly hardcore band that got its start before many Temple students were even born. McRad will play the Before the Bridge Music Festival in Collingswood, N.J., on Saturday, Sept. 18. On Saturday, Sept 25, the band will appear again at Media Bureau, at 725 N. Fourth St., as part of the Philadelphia Film and Music Festival.
McRad began as a Philly hardcore band in 1982 and has been an off-and-on thing ever since – performing live, recording albums, skating and traveling, as well as introducing new members and changing its sound. Identifying the band as skate-rock, punk or even hardcore, though, does not do it justice. On the band’s MySpace page, the band members label themselves as psychedelic, bluegrass and Hawaiian. Their songs’ bass lines, at the least, connote something of that archipelago.
If you’ve ever watched a skate video or played Skate 2 for Xbox, then you’ve probably heard McRad. Today, the band is as well-respected as it has ever been. Most people might recognize the band for its song “Weakness,” but loyal fans will say the band’s other material is engaging and worth at least one listen, especially for anyone who likes the sounds of Fugazi or Japandroids.
Back in the 1980s, McRad was part of the fabric of West Coast skating culture. Today, the band still remains a part of that culture and plays sets at Philadelphia’s FDR Skate Park, which is said to still be a favorite skate location of McRad member Chuck Treece. The band’s most recent release, simply named “FDR,” came out in 2007.
In addition to being the band’s multi-instrumentalist frontman, Treece is also a former pro skater. A lot of his current success relates to the respect he garnered skating professionally. Treece has been instrumental in sustaining the band throughout the years, and he has played sessions with Busta Rhymes, Billy Joel and Bad Brains, along with Philly bands, such as the Goats, Stiffed, Nancy Falkow, G. Love, Jeffrey Gaines, King Britt and others.
John Kennedy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.