102 Nick Hornby. Chopper
105 Ghost World, Hellboy
106 REM, Iggy Pop
RADIOHEAD Amnesiac (Parlophone) 0.00
espite over- exaggerated reports of
‘unlistenable electro lunacy’ on its release, Kid A quickly grew up. With repeated listenings it transformed itself from a disjointed collection of disparate ideas made by half a dozen blokes in relative creative turmoil to - with the exception of perhaps two tracks - a deep and joyously rewarding album. The follow-up Amnesiac, is not the scurvy-ridden little sister of that bolshy upsetter, though it will enjoy the same fate. Like the problem child who insists on throwing his dinner on the floor, patience and perseverance will reap huge dividends in time. Now we have got used to the notion that Radiohead are an ‘experimental’ open-ended group rather then the trad rock band we originally loved, do these visionary strides impress? Well, not completely. Amnesiac suffers from a number of ailments. Firstly, the shock of first hearing ‘ldiotique’ from Kid A for the first time was significant. Radiohead weren’t
109 Alone In The Dark
1 1O Geeks, BMWs
* Video/ DVD
1 1O Pitch Black, Flawless
supposed to sound like that. Now the muted electro of album opener ‘Packd Like Sardines In A Crushd Tin Box’ and the grinding concrete blockisms of ‘PulkPull Revolving Doors’ pale in comparison, they lack an engaging hook.
Whatever shortcomings there may be, ‘You And Whose Army’ and ‘Pyramid Song’ more than make up for them. Both worthy successors to ‘Exit Music (For A Film)’ from OK Computer, they build on simple refrains growing to big, beautiful, sad shapes and will nestle alongside ‘Paranoid Android’ and ‘Just’ as their finest ever record material.
‘Knives Out’ continues the trend with gorgeous melancholy guitar pick a la ‘ln Limbo’, reminiscent of the guitar band so many pine for. ‘I Might Be Wrong’ blends a shuffling breakbeat and country twang guitar but broods, avoiding the climax its build-up hints at.
A funereal second version of ‘Morning Bell’ sans drums and bass is nowhere near as throwaway as one may ﬁrst reckon and if the
The ‘commercial suicide’ that Radiohead have committed has
0.... Excellent .00. Recommended 0.. Good 0. Flawed
1 1 1 Ken Stott. Sarah Lancashire
1 1 2 Intervention. skateboarders
1513 , = - o o w ﬂex/1 1 14 The Commissary
ethereal keys and vocals-in-a-blender antics of ‘Like Spinning Plates’ turn up in a David Lynch movie, don’t be surprised.
Octogenarian jazzer Humphrey Lyttelton lends his band to Thom Yorke and brings an interstellar close to the proceedings. ‘Life In A Glasshouse’ has his group’s wriggling clarinet and trumpet winding around Yorke’s wet-eyed pleads. An inconsistent finish perhaps after the DJ Shadow, Autechre, and Can-riddled ten tracks which have gone before but it illustrates how playing by the rules is not always necessary. Their influence is no bad thing here anyway, considering the lack of vision some of our other homegrown ‘talent' seem to have.
The ‘commercial suicide’ that Radiohead have committed has paid off; they may have lost the Ocean Colour Scene fans who liked The Bends but they probably never wanted them anyway. Quite what Radiohead do want remains unclear, but they are still a band that keeps on giving. (Mark Robertson)
2.1l‘..4a,—7 Jill‘. 23% THE LIST 101