27
Mar
13

Album Review: Atoms For Peace – Amok

f6f069cfThe Down Lizzo:

Back in 2006 Thom Yorke released his solo album The Eraser, a weird collection of quirky melodies, complex time signatures and flawless production that made for some really compelling listening.

So much so that he started recruiting band members so he could perform the material off the album live.

It wasn’t an easy task, Yorke knew he needed exceptionally skilled musicians who would understand the subtle nuances of his music and bring his material to life onstage, paying special attention to the complex, intertwining melodies that define his body of work.

So yeah, naturally he chose Flea.

 

 

As it turned out though, the pairing was a classic example of an idea that was just crazy enough to work.

After jamming The Eraser tracks live together along with long-time Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich and Joey Waronker (the ex-drummer of, wait for it, RE-fucking-M) Flea and Yorke jumped into studio together and started working on new material and that, boys and girls, is how Atoms For Peace was formed.

Sick Tracks:

I’ll say this about Amok, if anything, it’s a grower. Don’t expect wonders the first time you listen to it. It’s like that quiet dude who sits in the corner of the office not really saying much to anyone who you pretty much dismiss completely the first time you meet him.

Then over time he starts opening up and you realise he’s this total enigma, this creepy, quirky, strangely fascinating person who is 45 years old and still lives with his mom.

 

 

On first listen, the sinister undertones of “Default” and the slow build and subtle, haunting melodies of “Judge, Jury And Executioner” will probably stand out above the other tracks on the album as both subscribe to a more conventional song structure and actually have hooks.

The album closer “Amok” also stands out once you get past the irritating percussion and the 4 minutes it takes for the song to get going.

The rest, I dunno. Even after repeated listens nothing has really grabbed me on this album.

It feels like an album of ideas more that actual riffs and hooks and while I can appreciate what they’re doing from an intellectual standpoint and dig the complexity of the tracks on this album, given another week or two and I don’t think I’ll ever listen to it again.

 

Should You Give A Shit:

I strongly suspect I might be too stupid to “get” what the big fuss about this album is. The songs don’t really progress as much as they sweep slowly back and forth like waves lapping the shoreline at low tide.

You can play the entire thing from beginning to end in the background and I can almost guarantee that when it’s finished you’ll emerge from this vague shuffly-beats-induced trance with almost no recollection of anything you’ve just heard.

“Huh,” you’ll say. And life will carry on.

Also, where the fuck is Flea?! Seriously, if I hadn’t been told he was part of Atoms For Peace, he’s the last person I’d think was laying down the wonky basslines on this album.

Anyway, here’s “Default” in case you’re interested:

 

 

Final Verdict: 6/10

-ST


2 Responses to “Album Review: Atoms For Peace – Amok”


  1. 1 Loose Cannon
    March 27, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    Hey ST, for me, this might just as well have been a review of The Eraser. Love Thom Yorke, dig Radiohead and all, but I’m just not sure, in the end, whether its worth listening to. I got nothing from it.

    • March 28, 2013 at 8:39 am

      If you love Radiohead and Thom Yorke, then get this album. There will be moments that will speak to you, there will be the odd track here and there that will grab your attention, but the bottom line is that I strongly suspect Yorke’s best work is already behind him.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge