Mayday Radio
"The Subtle Divide"

(Self-Released 2007)Mayday Radio - The Subtle Divide

The creation of a band's debut album is an art form all to itself. Many spend years trying to craft the perfect album, making sure each note is in its place, only to have the resulting record go nowhere. Others bang the songs out in a weekend only to see the collection soar up the charts. And let's not even get into the art of a follow-up. All in all, it's enough to make your head spin. New York City-based Mayday Radio say their debut, "The Subtle Divide," was two years in the making. Obviously they are a member of the first club.

Influenced by '90s rock, Mayday Radio buries their melodies under buzzing guitar riffs while broad vocals from frontman Jeff Ting -- who is also a classically trained pianist -- try to conquer all that they encounter. On "Ghosts in My Head," the band toughens up and goes for a more rugged sound that betrays the rest of the album's mid-tempo leanings. Where Mayday Radio does shine, however, is when they reveal themselves on "Stay Awake," as piano offers an understated melody that wanders up and down the keyboard and the whole song comes together for a focused result.

If it's really the case that "The Subtle Divide" took two years, it might just be Ting and company are perfectionists that just tried too hard to bring their vision to life. While "The Subtle Divide" is light and easy on the ears, it remains too static and never moves the listener. A bit too uptight on much of "The Subtle Divide," Mayday Radio needs to loosen up some before their sophomore release.

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