Radio Vago

Photo by Lisa Talbot Radio Vago
Black & White Photo Enterprise
Buddyhead Records

Radio Vago have been devastating musical mediocrity with their synthed-up rock for nearly two years; with the release of their first EP, they vow the menace shall continue. Black and White Photo Enterpriseis splitting at the seams with slinky bass grooves; swirling, sprawling keyboard lines; and damn near jaw-dropping guitar wizardry—I doubt anyone can figure out just how Jen creates that trademark spook-o-phonic guitar sound. And then there's Adrienne, the Patti Smith of the new wave: bold and enigmatic, singing songs of misery, possession and guilt. Her delivery is so haunting and mesmerizing it's impossible not to notice the vitality in her lyrics: "My New Suit" paints a smoky picture of nightclub life ("All the ladies were lined up/and their eyes were swimming in makeup/as their dresses clung up to their thighs"); "Mail Order Bride" explodes into a tale of one man's promise of life in return for his new bride's love ("'Marry me,' says a rich white man/'I'll make you an American!'"). Jesus, that's beautiful. Radio Vago are so good it hurts—the perfect mix of danse and macabre. (Kat Jetson)

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