Who let this guy in the band?
TV On the Radio “Tonight”
This is disappointing. TVOTR started as a promising band, only to shed its best qualities with each successive release. “Tonight” is from their as-of-yet untitled second LP, and it bears little resemblence to the albums that preceded it. Starting with a pulse-setting and simplistic drum machine beat, it quickly quadruples in size. Clattering percussion in a vaguely afrobeat pattern is joined by fuzzy guitar lines in the song’s background and a surprisingly dubby bass line. One of the band’s members—difficult to say who with the new members— uncomfortably warbles lyrics that make the only link back to the group’s origins. (Does anyone else think the chorus could easily turn into “Who Stopped the Rain” by C.C.R.?) I’m sure the group likes passing the mic around, but they might want to have Tunde pinch hit for this fella. The song’s shining moment, being its dischord guitar freakouts, gets overshadowed by the group’s painful howling gang vocals.
As the song draws to a close with the same simplistic drum beat, I can’t help but think back to the Young Liars EP and sigh. I used to have confidence in TV On the Radio–almost to a fault–that they could lead the future of music. And as much as I respect the band’s decision to rework their sound (I imagine it’s difficult to keep this band going one direction very long), they sound more bound to a hip Brooklyn basement than ever.
Edit: There’s info going around that says this track is unmastered. At least that explains some of the interesting choices made in the mix…. It’s also supposedly the least indicative of the new album’s sound. Here’s hoping.