Remember the days when it seemed like every new band was imitating Bends
- or OK Computer
-era Radiohead? If Safety About Your Glass Face
is any indication, that movement has finally taken hold in the Czech Republic.
Sure, Pavilon M2 frontman Sejky has a thick accent that sometimes makes his phrasing sound odd, and because English isn't his first language, lyrical headscratchers like "The wolves smelt odour of the cream / And went along the steps of your meat" (from opener "Desperate Legacy") and "On our common retarded land, exhausted land" (from "Exhausted Ministration") abound; even the album title has a bit of an ESL vibe. However, Thom Yorke's voice is just as difficult to learn to love, and does anyone really know what "Karma police arrest this girl / Her Hitler hairdo is making me feel ill / And we have crashed her party" means? Once you discount little things like that, there isn't a huge jump from "From Exhausted Ministration" to "Electioneering". Similarly, "The Sea Cliff" and "Sapphire" create a mildly uncomfortable mix of grandiose rock and electronic noodling, suggesting a debt to Radiohead's Airbag EP.
Faux-metal jaunt "Four Seasons of The Cube" is the album's anomaly -- it comes out of nowhere, sounds nothing like the songs that surround it, and is never referenced or reprised. Its inclusion on Safety About Your Glass Face suggests that there's more to Pavilon M2 than mere Radiohead-aping. If nothing else, they'll probably never head down the tepid soft-rock road that snares so many half-hearted Radiohead imitators.