Thursday, September 23, 2010


Song: Tiger
Artist: Maximum Balloon
Album: Maximum Balloon

Dave Sitek, guitarist and producer, is best known as part of the Brooklyn-based indie rock band TV on the Radio, a perennial critic darling that I have mostly been unable to love.  (Aside from their 2006 album "Return to Cookie Mountain," which contained the EXCELLENT single "Wolf Like Me.")  Sitek's production work is also most impressive; with all three Yeah Yeah Yeah's albums as well as the odd (and some say disastrous) Scarlett Johansson solo debut of Tom Waits covers; "Anywhere I Lay My Head."

While his band may not have been interested in taking a complete dance/rock approach to an album the way the Yeah's did with their last (and excellent) album "It's Blitz," Sitek decided to do his own side project with an electronic/dance bent... "Maximum Balloon."  The album contains collaborations with Holly Miranda, Theophilus London, Little Dragon, David Byrne, and (of course) Karen O.  Calling it a dance album may be misleading... as it's really a semi-strange indie rock record that happens to have a lot of electronics on it.

I really like "If You Return" featuring Little Dragon, "Apartment Wrestling" with Byrne, "Tiger" with Aku Orraca-Tetteh, and "Communion" with Karen O.  Again... it's an odd record, which really is par for the course with Sitek, but it does have an off-kilter charm and undeniable musicianship to it that grows with repeated listens.

There aren't any cross-over hits on here, at least to my ears, but if you like your experimental pop on the more experimental side... or your indie-rock with a alterna-dance bent, you should check this out.



If You Return

Groove Me

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