ATOMS FOR PEACE – ‘Amok’

atomsforpeaceATOMS FOR PEACE – ‘Amok’
Thom Yorke’s post-Radiohead sounds have both confused and captivated since we first wrapped our ears around The Eraser before the groups sumptuous In Rainbows.  His instantly recognisable vocal the only constant, where his Oxford outfit are still one of the biggest Rock acts around, his side projects are built on more modest foundations; albeit with equal amounts of populist diligence and scrutiny.  Where The Eraser still coveted a Rock sensibility despite its electronic engrossment, Amok takes Yorke’s bank of blips and bleeps even further and while the two are very alike, this ‘supergroup’ carries a very different persona.  With Flea adding some afro-dub style bass slaps and Joey Waronka (REM, Beck) on drums, whether this outfit has longevity is one question but there’s no doubting it’s ability to pen unique and subtle songs that embed rich swathes of synth with angular experimental electronica, atop Yorke’s strained vocal.  Its inaccessible, simple, low-fi yet full of complexities that will probably appeal more to connoisseurs of musical invention rather than the get-rich-quick dead certs out there.  Not particularly possessing pieces of music that could instantly be identified as songs, it doesn’t have a ‘Just’ to prise open the mainstream portals. But what Yorke has created is a glimpse of the darker areas of the human psyche; places we usually like to visit by proxy.  His mandate to wierd out on us continues through the majority of Amok with the cut and paste approach meaning nothing is sacred.  If you haven’t been initiated into the ethos, then ‘Ingenue’, ‘Unless’ and ‘Stuck Together Pieces’ are pretty solid places to start and although there’s not a lot on offer that gives easy access, there’s real passion in the performance that pushes back musical boundaries; allowing general acceptance of the truly bizarre yet beautifully arranged nature of it all.  (8)
STEVE FLETCHER

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