Atoms For Peace – AMOK

May 02, 2013 No Comments by

Thom Yorke has spent the last 20 years making music that has continually expanded the boundaries of popular music. With his band Radiohead, Yorke has challenged listeners and the industry itself, experimenting with how albums are released in the modern age. With his side-project, Atoms For Peace, Yorke continues to dispense with the conventions of music.

Formed in 2009 to help support Yorke’s first solo record The Eraser, Atoms For Peace debut album AMOK, released February 27 on XL Recordings, is a dense cornucopia of rhythms, sounds, grooves, all topped with Yorke’s soaring falsetto. Consisting of Yorke on guitar, keyboards and vocals, Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers on bass, longtime Radiohead and Beck producer Nigel Goodrich on keyboards and guitars, R.E.M. and Beck drummer Joey Waronker, and Brazilian percussionist Mauro Refosco (who has worked extensively with David Byrne) it is obvious that Atoms For Peace are more concerned with exploring rhythms and sound textures than they are with writing radio-ready hits.

“Before Your Very Eyes…,” the album’s opener, starts of with a jumble of rhythms and bass that soon gives way to sweeping electronic keyboards. “Default,” the album’s first single, is full of digital pulses and Yorke’s cascading voice. The band reaches full alt-rock tempo on “Dropped,” while “Stuck Together Pieces” is driven by Flea’s rich, deep bass groove.

The music is a jittery polyrhythmic electro-rock hybrid that is not dissimilar to Radiohead’s 2011 album The King Of Limbs. At many times AMOK sounds like a cross between Yorke and Goodrich’s most recent work with Radiohead, and Talking Heads classic album Remain In Light. Yorke has stated that the Atoms For Peace bonded over their mutual love of Afrobeat musician Fela Kuti, influencing the eclectic rhythms. Grooving and hypnotic, AMOK delivers a fuller, more rounded counterpart to Yorke’s The Eraser, while giving him room to flirt with ideas and sounds away from his day job on arguably the most important rock band of the last 20 years.

Entertainment, Music

About the author

Alan Schooling grew up in Southern California before fleeing north to escape the heat. He has been obsessed with music for the last 24 years and had seen more concerts than he can remember. He is currently a communications major at Dominican University of California who is pursuing a career in journalism.
No Responses to “Atoms For Peace – AMOK”

Leave a Reply