The Radar Brothers died on January 29, 2008. The band was on stage at the Echo in Los Angeles playing the record release show for their new album, Auditorium. What should have been a joyful celebration of their new record turned into a wake. The audience already knew that the three members sharing the stage with singer/guitarist Jim Putnam had announced their plans to leave, so when the band invited their L.A. musician friends on stage for a final sing-along, it felt like the end.

Not so fast! Jim Putnam has been playing and recording music his entire life. After a brief hiatus, his passion prevailed. The past 18 months have seen the emergence of a newly energized Radar Brothers. In bass player Be Hussey and drummer Stevie Treichel, Putnam has found two partners who are equally passionate about the band. Like pretty much every band worth caring about, this new collaboration began with live performances. The guys built a tight bond while touring together in the U.S. and Europe, and writing together was the natural next step. March 23, 2010-the release date of their new album, The Illustrated Garden-represents the culmination of the Radar Brothers' rebirth.

The Illustrated Garden is the punchiest, most lyrically direct set of songs the band has released to date. The songs are unmistakably Radar Brothers, but the Treichel/Hussey rhythm section often pushes them in unexpected directions ('Rainbow' and 'Horses Warriors' are particularly surprising). Putnam's the same nature-loving guy, but on songs like 'Dear Headlights' and 'Xmas Lights,' there's a little less to read between the lines.

Putnam records through his Phase IV Intergalactic Recording Facility (a legacy he inherited from his father Bill Putnam, who was one of the innovators of modern recording technology with the founding of Universal Audio (www.uaudio.com), and bandmate Hussey's L.A.-based recording studio, comp ny (www.comp-ny.com).

As you might expect from a band featuring two engineers, the songs were meticulously crafted. Using Putnam's vintage Sphere Eclipse C console and lots of analog tape, the songs have a warm and layered sound while incorporating the spontaneity of a live performance. It's a refreshing balance not easily accomplished by most bands.

Radar Brothers are Jim Putnam, Be Hussey, and Stevie Treichel. Keyboard player Brian Cleary (The Movies) and guitarist Dan Iead (The Broken West) will join the new Radar Brothers touring band and play on future recordings.