Mayday Radio ~ Radius of Action
Date: Saturday, June 06, 2009 @ 18:26:30 UTC

Artist: Mayday Radio

CD: Radius of Action

Home: New York City

Style: Rock

Quote: "If your threshold for pain is high, Mayday Radio might just be your station of choice."

By Dan MacIntosh

"Automatic Life," which opens Mayday Radioís Radius of Action CD, has a synth-string riff that sounds a whole lot like Coldplay. But this is the first and last truly Coldplay moment on the disc. Yet this distinction is not merely melodic, but lyrical as well. Coldplay's Chris Martin is emotional, but heís also, for the most part, cautiously optimistic, too. Mayday Radioís singer, Jeff Ting, however, is quite the pessimist much of the time.

Ting rarely sings love songs because, as "The Firing Line" states definitively, "Love has become my enemy." Instead, he cannot help but focus on the seeming pointlessness of life. On this releaseís title track, he wonders how he wandered so far away from a former life filled dreams and wonderment. "Iím off the grid," he admits, "Thereís no return." But you also get the impression he doesnít want to go gently into the good night, much like Dylan Thomas once wrote so poetically. Rather, he desires hope -- in the hope against hope that he one day finds it.

Nevertheless, this need to believe Ė in something, anything Ė also fights against those who try and share their spiritual answers with him. With "Proselytize," for instance, he finds it hard to reconcile all the pain in the world, with hopeful talk about religion. This track is also one of the musically gutsiest on the CD, with plenty of angry rock guitar filling it out.

With "Brave New Day," Ting lists many of societyís earthly ills, which leads you to believe he has little faith in God or man. With its lyric, he wonders out loud about what it would be like if he had been born in a poor nation. One guesses he would have been just as unhappy poor, as he now is in the wealthy West.

Itís hard to find another band to compare Mayday Radio to, which is always a good thing. The groupís overall desperation brings Comsat Angels to mind, although the trio is far more aggressive musically than that underappreciated outfit. Ting sings with unbridled passion, while the groupís playing leaves a lot of space in the overall mix.

Radius of Action ends with "Point Of No Return," which features just Ting and an acoustic guitar. On it, he sounds to be far away from the microphone. This sonic is perfectly appropriate because Ting already feels extremely distant from true happiness.

Jeff Ting has made a powerful statement with Radius of Action, even though all of this pain and suffering put to music can be a little burdensome after a while. But if your threshold for pain is high, Mayday Radio might just be your station of choice.

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