12" £7.49 XLT592
12" on XL.
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It’s a remarkable achievement that Atoms For Peace have at the helm Radioheads’ Thom Yorke, and at his disposal drummer Joey Waronker, bassist Flea and super producer Nigel Godrich yet their album sounds like it was concocted on a laptop on a particularly dull train journey. On many tracks there isn’t the merest hint of live playing and the overall feel is of another Thom Yorke solo album...or a snoozing Autechre fronted by Jimmy Somerville. Lead track ‘Judge Jury and Executioner’ (erroneously on our site as Judge Judy and Executioner’ for a while) is a typical slight effort with clean clicky beats and a distinct lack of oomph. It has a nice enough twist of melody at one point which is the only earworm in the whole thing and afterwards you feel empty...and somehow cheated.
On the B side ‘S.A.D’ starts out with some tinny beats and actually some live bass but as usual Yorke’s vocals wander inconsequentially, working against the contours of the track. Can he not just keep quiet for a minute and give the instrumental track some breathing space? The track itself has a nice atmosphere to it with a neat sample running through it and some talked, chanted voice. The exclusive B side is by far the better of the two tracks. Atoms For Peace has the beginnings of a good project, they do come up with some interesting atmospheres yet the combination of a lack of arrangement ambition and Yorke’s constant bleating lead to what I feel is an opportunity missed. Of course Radiohead/Thom Yorke fans are going to love it and why wouldn’t they?
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