I’ll come out and say it straight away; I’m not really sure what to make of My Head Radio and their new EP, Everybody’s Waiting. The best way of describing it is possibly electro-jazz-funk-spoken word-poetry (snappy-Ed) . Oh, and the actual band haven’t met, with vocalist Boca Smole based in Michigan while the rest of the band are in The Netherlands. So...yeah, as you can imagine this five track offering is a strange one.
The opener is solid; a cover of Suzanne Vega’s Tom’s Diner which, as you’d expect, is about a diner, or more sitting in one and watching the world go by. It sets the tone for the rest of Everybody’s waiting with some electronic synths, some funky beats and a more-or-less spoken word story. It’s also very American, but that will aseems inevitable if your vocalist, like Smole, IS American.
Despite the American accent, track two – Walking Headz - unsuprisingly, provides a good homage to the vocal style of Talking Heads, which is helped along by the references to the titles of their singles throughout the four minute plus track. Once again a funky beat is laid down and Smole’s lyrics are (once again!) spoken word. Three things set this apart from the opener, firstly there are a lot more electronica, and secondly there is the addition of a jazz trumpet as played by Ruby Redharez. Somehow the combination of these gives Walking Headz a metropolitan New York vibe. Foxy Yayo provides the feminine backing vocals throughout this one.
Gag N Squeal is the funkiest track on the EP and probably the one most likely to be danced too – although you’d still struggle to manage it. The parts are interspersed with some guitar and trumpet work that’s heavily influenced by Latin jazz. Of course, there’s the poetry on top of the music too.
Big Pig is the nearest thing to a ‘serious’ track on Everybody’s Waiting and features the now usual style of bass, beats and spoken word. The lyrics are very clever and take a swipe at the celebrity and image obsessed magazine culture...you know what magazines I mean. Love For Us call continues with the jazz trumpet and poetry but doesn’t really stand out much.
So, what’s the verdict? Well, Everybody’s Waiting is interesting, but perhaps My Head Radio are trying to be too clever for their own good. The EP makes enjoyable listening but not in the ‘traditional’ sense. If you just like jumping around to guitars or dancing to beats then you probably won’t enjoy it. However, if you like clever, often meaningful lyrics then you will.
(Originally written for Gobshout)