Tunde Adebimpe & Co.
TV on the Radio is still very much a band. After a brief hiatus, some solo albums from just about every member of the band and the tragic death of bassist Gerard Smith, the band continues to record music and headline shows as big as All Tomorrow’s Parties. On top of that, frontman Tunde Adebimpe is involved in another project, the rock group Higgins Waterproof Black Magic Band (probably named after the product Higgins Waterproof Black Magic Ink), along with band members Ryan Sawyer, Josh Werner and Alex Holden, who have recently released the band’s first self-titled EP.
Adebimpe’s vocals are as distinct and strong as anything TV On The Radio-related is, and they may be, if anything, more distinct. Tracks range from being quiet and peaceful to loud and soulful. “The Blast, The Bloom” covers all of these elements and makes for an appropriate single.
The only thing that stands out as much as the vocals is the guitar. “Hugh Beaumont is Dead” (Hugh Beaumont being the man who played the dad onLeave It To Beaver ) showcases crisp guitar from Holden throughout and halfway through the six-minute track, both Adebimpe’s vocals and Sawyer’s drums blow up into a climactic core followed by more of Adebimpe’s wails.
“Mad Lifeline” ends the EP quietly. The almost eight-minute song contains whistling, over-the-top precision on drums, bass and guitar and nothing ever gets any louder than Adebimpe’s vocals. It makes for a great song to lower your blood pressure.
HWBMB plays a lot at the Brooklyn-based venue Union Pool, and they’re playing there once a week this month to celebrate the release, but they have otherwise been fairly quiet. While perhaps not the most monumental thing to come out in 2013, the EP is a nice piece to add to the collection for fans of TV On The Radio, Lone Wolf and Cub, CocoRosie and Big Numbers. It’s a nice sampling of hearing what this crew can offer. Hopefully we’ll hear more experimental, off-the-wall indie-rock wackiness on the full-length, if it ever comes to fruition.