Paul Michel Ayuda!

Comparing bands to Radiohead became meaningless a good half-decade ago, mostly due to its incredibly liberal misuse by an endless number of promoters and reviewers. The singer has a falsetto? Sing about machines? Have a bass player? Write songs? Before no time, Radiohead became music criticism’s one-size-fits-all solution, their equivalent to hyper kids and buckets of Ritalin. But there is no doubt that many artists have been majorly influenced by the British five-piece since The Bends transformed them into a creative force to be reckoned with, and Paul Michel’s debut solo EP, Ayuda!, wastes no time letting us know that he’s worn out copies of their last four records. From the pulsating bass, wavering guitar effects and soaring chorus of opener "Times Like These” to the electronic atmospherics of "Truth Isn’t,” Michel incorporates more than just Yorke’s vocal range. "It’s Only a Problem” is another highlight, and is perhaps the only of the four to fall closer to Western FM rock than any art-rock coming from the UK. The EP isn’t merely a superfluous copy of either, of course, but it’s close enough to make the release as derivative as it does enjoyably familiar. (Magic Bullet)