Sunday, April 17, 2011

Radiohead - Supercollider/The Butcher 12" review

Radiohead will be releasing their highly anticipated post-The King of Limbs material in a few short hours to Record Store Day-ready shops around the globe (except for the United States for some reason).  In an interview with Radiohead guitarist Ed O'Brien, BBC 6 has unveiled that "Supercollider" and "The Butcher" are the last remnants of the recording sessions that birthed The King of Limbs.  This of course meaning that we will not see a The King of Limbs part 2, like we did with their previous effort, In Rainbows.  Oh well.

"Supercollider" is a seven-minute piece of swirling and somewhat flighty pop music.  Echoing synths plink throughout the entire song, building gradually to a crescendo while serving to frame Thom Yorke's voice in a ghostly aura.  It is a moody song that relies on the ambiance it creates to carry you through to the end.  It isn't exactly the kind of track that you'll be yearning to spin over and over again, but it is an engaging and ethereal piece of work.

"The Butcher" is a graphic and evocative song that is a brooding and somewhat creepy tune.  Much in the same way "Supercollider" works, "The Butcher" creates an atmosphere, however this one is jarring.  The overlaying percussion is unnerving, giving the entire song a menacing and ominous quality.  Coupled with Yorke's hushed vocals, "The Butcher" has a disquieting undercurrent that runs throughout the entire length of the song.

Both tracks are heavily atmospheric, and neither rely on gimmicks or hooks to draw you in.  Instead, "Supercollider" and "The Butcher" showcase Radiohead creating nuanced arrangements that immerse you into their world of scary teddy bears, political exacerbation and decompression sickness.

Radiohead "Supercollider + The Butcher" by ianbhoy

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