TV On The Radio - Staring At The Sun

Bill Cummings 14/07/2004

Rating: 4/5

TV On The Radio are a new beat combo from New York who bring with them a wealth of anticipation and a fuzzy, avant-garde sound. "Staring at the Sun" is their debut single and is the first track to be lifted from their new album Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes. The song is pleasant enough, buzzing along like a more accessible and sugar coated version of the Suicide musical template. Thus "Staring" is all stuttering beats and fuzzboxed guitars, intertwined with harmonic vocals. The B-sides show off the eclectic musical ethos of TV On The Radio: "Freeway" rambles with a semi-conscious vocal and lyricisms; "On A Train" tinkles and plinks along, all angular Eels-style vocals, before revealing itself to be a more understated and quirky vision of the Portishead sound.

Overall a decent single and B-sides, but this does have the faint whiff of the emperor's new clothes about it: will TV on the Radio, the latest New York band to be lauded by the indie press, be as recognisable in a year's time? Time will tell.