Radiohead- Hail to the Thief
God, since Dan is too much of an asshole to update, I'm going to fucking review a CD that everyone should know rules hard. It sucks that instead of adventurously reviewing some album of some band that you've never heard of I'm going to review fucking Hail to the Thief by Radiohead. But you know what? This album is fucking awesome and Radiohead hasn't fucking lost their title as the most creative fucking band in the world with this album. Oh, it's not as good as Kid A, Oh, it's not as good as fucking Ok fucking Computer. Wah wah wah wah. This album is just insane in terms of being clever, innovative, interesting, and fucking texturally face-rocking. While Kid A is a masterpiece, people fucking wave their dicks at Ok Computer because it came out in 1997, people were fucking listening to good bands like Built to Spill and Yo La Tengo, and had never heard anything as fucking surreal as that album. Nowadays, the album seems to have aged a bit, but that's neither here nor there. God, as much as I love some “indie” bands, I'm going to come out and say it. The underground music scene should fucking take a cue from Radiohead, that while most bands don't have the vision tha Thom Yorke does (I'll quote High Fidelity here, is the guy miserable because he has to make consistently ass-grinding music or is his music consistently ass-grinding because of how miserable he is?) but at least they (A lot of indie bands) could have decent production considering that people can write their own personal magna opus on their fucking iBook and have it sound like How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb for fuck's sake. Why is it that indie music has to hide behind being eccentric and under-produced a lot of the time in order for them to appear like they haven't sold out? I mean, fuck, not all bands are like that, but The Arcade Fire's Funeral definitely gains half of its texture from the fact that you can't even fucking hear what the strings are playing in the background while some guy yells like he's singing through a styrofoam cup? Just because your band is quirky, or avant-garde, doesen't necessarily mean that you can call writing good music in. I just ended that sentence with a preposition, but I don't give a fuck. How ironic is it that Radiohead, the modern day expression of Progressive Rock, is more down to earth and relateable then mister indie himself Sufjan Stevens and his orchestral overindulgence? Just because no one gives a fuck as to what Sufjan's ranting about means that he has to make up for it by having a bunch of pricks splurge violins and trumpets all over a bunch of songs that are half-written? Sorry Sufjan, Jon Anderson called and he wants his over the top performances back. Oh, and the Decembersits are good because apparently the Mariner's Revenge Song was written by a bunch of guys with acoustic guitars around a mic? Sorry, but having a idiosyncratic voice is one thing Colin Meloy, but if you can't sing then don't expect me to listen to anything you put out unless its instrumental. Radiohead is great, they are able to take one or two ideas, make a killer song out of it, and produce a whole album of awesome tracks full of minimalist and sometimes avant-garde texture that suprisingly sounds well-developed and interesting. Isn't it awesome how they can make weird music and still be successful because they don't rely on cheap gimmicks that half of the indie-underground seems to rely on?
Anyways, Hail to the Thief. Radiohead starts the album off with one of the best tracks they've ever done, 2 + 2 =5, a song that desperately rails against whatever authoritarian dystopia you feel like we're in. It's weird for a Radiohead song, it's fast, it's uptempo, you can make out the guitar, a mellotron erupts like a volcano spewing liquidy goodness all over the end. This song is weird and Thom Yorke is singing like a fucking bat out of hell. Then Radiohead does a complete 360, giving you three extremely weird, slow-tempo songs that are more haunting then anything I've ever heard. Backdrifts, with its annoyingly repetitive synth loop is quite possibly one of the coolest psychedelic things I've ever heard. Where I End And You Begin has the coolest bass-line, and the whole song eerily builds up to Thom Yorke cooly saying, “I will eat you alive.” There There has got to be one of the best singles of the last decade. It's a fucking musical gauntlet full of interesting rhythmnic drive and excellent guitar playing the texture role. Some of the lyrics are Thom Yorke's best ( “We are accidents waiting to happen”) and the song easily would have been the best on the album had 2 +2 = 5 hadn't been on here. The Gloaming is an interesting Amnesica piece, that while is kind of glitchy and strange, is a nice respite from some of the more standard rock orchestrated songs. The rest of the songs are very good, and I guess the point I'm trying to make is that this is still one of the most original songs I've heard (A Punch-Up at A Wedding isn't a suprise from a band that takes grooves as seriously as Radiohead does, but the funk-esque aesthetic gets completely adapted to Radiohead's style). As much as people want to say that most of the tracks here are derivative of their earlier works, those people can eat my ass because Hail to the Thief is the sound of a band that has completely polished their aesthetic and is churning out some of the most beautiful artifice that I've heard in a while. Let's hope the next album is a fucking awesome Radiohead album, and it sounds like it from the live stuff I've been listening to, will probably cement Radiohead's status as the best band in the world right now. If you'll excuse me, I need to go suck Radiohead's dick more.