In the past, Television Rd’s experimental eclecticism—throwing bits of cabaret and free jazz at pop-rock and seeing what splattered where—has felt a bit ragged, a bit edgy, even a bit off.
This new recording is more solid, its darkness and anger more focused, and therefore more powerful, in part because the band is more squarely in a post-punk, new wave vein, with echoes of Martha and the Muffins, the Slits, and Joy Division. The band is now equipped with a marvellously relentless industrial groove, which gives the thin guitar figures (a shift in focus from their piano-centred past, still courtesy of Daniel Collins), vampiric melodies, and gleeful gang vocals a solid grounding.
Sara O. Shahsavari’s vocal presence, which looms large on this record as in their live shows, echoes Jello Biafra’s they’re-coming-to-take-me-away-haha mayhem, but with the messianic force of Grace Slick’s we-are-obscene-lawless-hideous-dangerous-dirty-violent-and-young hectoring. Good stuff.
Television Rd’s TV RD pt. I is available for purchase on Bandcamp.
All images courtesy the artist.