“Caffeinated Consciousness” – TV on the Radio
Alternating between a stompy, fuzz-tinged verse and a silky groove of a chorus, “Caffeinated Consciousness” may well be aiming to reproduce the very feel of being juiced on caffeine: there’s the oh-wow-hey-pay-attention part and then there’s the I’m-just-gliding-along-as-smooth-as-can-be part. And they kind of fit together and kind of don’t.
In any case, it’s a curiously addictive vibe. As soon as the ear gets tired of the harsh, riff-heavy, sample-fueled first part, we slip with relief into the groovy second part, with its happy blend of mellow-funky guitars and pipe-organ-y synthesizers. When that gets maybe too easy-going (I’m wired, man, I need to bust up something), squonk we go, back into the noise. But it’s kind of a happy noise in its own way—“I’m optimistic!” sing/shouts Tunde Adebimpe, over a delightfully rubbery bass and (wait for it; it’s in the second half of the verse, not the first) a stuttery, metallic, low-register guitar melody that (okay, maybe I’m hearing things) wouldn’t sound out of place on a Grateful Dead record.
TV on the Radio has been doing musical business out of Brooklyn since way back in 2001. They were one of the earlier bands featured here on Fingertips, in 2003, for a song off their first EP called “Staring at the Sun,” back when they were still a duo. (And hey, it’s still available!) They are five men strong these days. “Caffeinated Consciousness” is a track off the album Nine Types of Light, the band’s fourth full-length, due out in April on Interscope. MP3 via Magnet Magazine.