The title track is a rocking number with all kinds of cool keyboard noises strewn about. This is clearly early template TV on the Radio. “The Wrong Way” will appear on Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes and it shows a new noisy sound for the band–lots of horns and a reluctance to allow silence appear, there’s sound filling up every space. The final song, “Modern Romance” feels like a B-side. It is kind of slow and meandering. There are a few interesting sonic bits but mostly they are overshadowed by a kind of monotony.
Not essential listening for the TV on the Radio fan.
[READ: December 29, 2011] Chew: Volume Four
It was delightful to get volume four of this series so quickly after finishing volume three!
As with previous issues, this one starts out with a quirky opening. A series of shots of a chicken restaurant (Mother Clucker’s) thirty-five years ago, then twenty-five, then fifteen and then five (nice clientele drawings over the years). And then finally we see it today, after the ban on chicken–a wasteland.
But this story introduces an entirely new element (which goes through the arc of the book. Lights from (presumably) an alien life form fill the skies. They spell out words in a language that absolutely no one can understand. And it is so vexing that money is taken away from the FDA (the people who are fighting the chicken war) and put into NASA.
This first chapter also introduces a new kind of character: a man who is voresophic–if he is eating he is unbelievably intelligent. Of course, if this was your gift, how long would you be able to stay slim?
Chapter Two jumps us right into a NASA space station. Just as it explodes. A quick cut to a school (where Tony Chu’s estranged daughter goes) reveals a more down to earth problem. Since the letters have appeared in the sky people have been acting weird. And one technologically savvy boy, who has been picked on most of his school life is looking for revenge. But is he responsible for the space station explosion as well?
Chapter three is wonderful for a couple of reasons. First, Chu and John Colby are getting assigned increasingly dangerous missions (because their boss wants them dead). It culminates in a hilarious scene at the USDA (a furious female army). Chu and Colby are the last resort. If everyone else fails, they have a fall back so dangerous that it is classified.
Chapter four is amazing for opening with a series of scenes that are gruesome and awful and, as the narrator boxes keep repeating, never actually happen. And that is because Tony Chu has been assigned to work with his twin sister Toni Chu–NASA bigwig and (unknown to anyone else, fellow Cibopath–she doesn’t tell anyone so she’s not treated like a freak like her brother). It’s great to see the two of them work their magic. And while I wouldn’t want it to replace the Chu/Colby team, it would be fun to see future pairings of these two.
Chapter five (this is the first book with five chapters!) opens with a wonderfully long sequence of Agent Mason Savoy (he never went away, he’s always in the background) sampling something amazing. And we get several wordless pages of him processing what he has just ingested.
But the more amazing thing is that suddenly the letters in the sky simply disappear. And there seems to be a cult leader who predicted this, right down to the minute. The cult leader ingested scads and scads of gallsaberries when she was adrift at sea and it led her to the Truth. And she has lots of followers who are willing to drink her Kool-Aid.
The book ends with two wonderful cliffhangers. The first one is (mild spoiler, but not really since it will be dealt with in the next book) that their actions lead Chu and Colby to get fired. The second one is that Mason Savoy has learned a special secret about one of Tony Chu’s relatives (remember we saw them all in that cool scene from the last book?). And he takes advantage of that knowledge.
The series isn’t over by a long shot. Awesome.
A couple other things, first off–welcome back Poyo! I loved the faux story they created about his background and then the negation of said story. Also, this books reintroduces the vampires that were mentioned early in the story and then kind of hidden. I love when stories pick up threads like this. And a final quick nod to all of the excellent little jokes in the margins of the pictures. I read them all and I love them…keep them up!
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