The first thing I noticed when I looked at The Radium Screen's
new EP, White Faces, was the bright cover art. The front and
back covers have two different closeups of bright red opium poppies,
and it makes you wonder how many poppies were harmed (or harvested
in the making of this album.
The band's members are Aaron Hodge, previously of Mr. Panic
Button, and Brian Huffines, another musician on the Louisville
scene. Both were guitar players who wanted to collaborate on a separate
project in which no guitars would be used. The result of this collaboration,
White Faces, finds no guitar work but plenty of keyboard and
synthesizer layers mixed with downtempo style beats.
The first track on this EP just rubbed me the wrong way each time
I listened to it, and I finally came up with a couple rational reasons
why. The first thing that caught my attention was how bland the vocals
were. There was little to no variation in the vocals, which sound
somewhat like a higher pitched, somewhat raw Depeche Mode.
With "Dirty Blonde", the melody was extremely harsh and
sounded like a non-melodic, background track brought to the surface.
In "Amen", the track starts out with promise by easing into
the song with a Russian conversation in the background and an ethereal
synthesizer on the surface to a driving raw beat. The vocals then
came in and continued to sing the same progression of notes over and
over again which ended up being irritating by the end of the song.
The last two tracks, in my humble opinion, were the reason this EP
is good. "She Stands" begins with a non-intrusive, yet driving,
beat which slowly evolves into a dark symphony of computerized sounds.
The vocals on this track are much better because they do not overwhelm
the track, and they are just as dark as the music. The final track,
"Blood Song", has the best melodies of the album which are
driven by subtle beats intermingled with a soft synthesized organ.
Unfortunately, the vocals return to the harsh, raw sound of the first
two tracks which clashes with the dark, mysterious sounds found in
this track. So in all, the music was worth going out to get the EP
but in my opinion they should move towards the vocals found on "She
Stands" in order to create a brilliant album, instead of a good
1. Dirty Blonde
3. She Stands
4. Blood Song
Check out more
e-mail the chief
Like this article?
it to a friend!