Atoms for Peace are a new supergroup that includes Thom Yorke of Radiohead, Flea of the Chilli’s, Joey Waronker of Beck and R.E.M., Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich and percussionist Mauro Refusco. They’ve been around for a little while, orignally getting together for Thom Yorke’s solo touring then they released Judge, Jury and Executioner way back in 2009. No one really knew what was to come of them but they kept on going releasing the first official single Default in September 2012 having claimed they were finishing off an album all the way back in September 2011. But it hasn’t been until this week that Amok has finally materialised.
It’s not a world away from Radiohead, Yorke’s falsetto vocals are always going to create a certain feel no matter what band he’s in and with the inclusion of producer Nigel Godrich the impeccable, understated sound that makes Radiohead records so great is apparent here too. But there are differences elsewhere. Flea’s basslines bring a new flavour to the sound often forming the base of the tracks particularly in Dropped and Before Your Very Eyes… His influence on the record as a whole, not just in the bass parts, is clear too there’s a constant feel of funk that isn’t really there on a Radiohead record. It’s helped along by the combination drums and percussion both of which are produced to perfection as they ripple away underneath the sparse musicality that is over the top.
There is not one track that’s a let down, there’s not one track that isn’t a great song and it’s hard to pick out stand-out moments because it’s all so good, my only qualm would be that it’s only nine tracks long, it leaves you wanting more but really that can only be a good thing. An early contender for album of the year.