TRACK MARKS BEST OF 2014: “Lazerray” by TV on the Radio

This week, writers are recounting the best music of 2014. Today’s Track Marks focus on individual songs from albums that didn’t make our collective top five, but did appear on our individual best-album ballots.

TV on the Radio seem like super cool guys; are they secret sci-fi/fantasy nerds? What “Wolf Like Me” did for werewolves, TV on the Radio’s “Lazerray” does for lasers; the band clearly gets most amped when it’s singing about stuff that sounds like they’re free-associating off of the DuckTales opening credits. I feel like with all the talk about the tragic death of bassist Gerard Smith and Seeds being their attempt at a healing comeback, the driving ass-kickery of this song has been kinda slept on, even though it’s up there with “Wolf” and “Caffeinated Consciousness” as some of the most awesome stuff TV on the Radio has ever put recorded. It’s OK that the rest of Seeds doesn’t sound like this, because it’s quite beautiful, and how could anything really sound like this for a whole album? Those sweet horn accents that come in around the 2:15 mark sound all the sweeter because they come in there like it’s the only point where they might be able to get a word in edgewise. When I saw TV on the Radio over the summer, they were kicking ass throughout, but when “Wolf Like Me” came on, people lost their shit and started moshing like twenty rows back. I can’t imagine this won’t happen with “Lazerray” in the future, especially if solar flares can mosh.