Review: Atoms For Peace – Amok

Artist: Atoms For Peace
Album: Amok
Grade: B

Atoms For Peace was originally formed in 2009 to play live performances of material from Thom Yorke’s solo album The Eraser. Alongside Yorke, the band was composed of Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, Joey Waronker, formerly a drummer with Beck and REM, the instrumentalist Mauro Refosco on percussion, and Radiohead producer, Nigel Godrich, on guitar, keyboards and synth.

At the end of the tour in 2010 the band spent three days in a Los Angeles studio recording Amok. Yorke and Godrich pent the intervening time editing the tracks which emerged from this session.

Given the band’s origins it is hardly surprising that Amok firmly bears the stamp of Thom Yorke’s style. Yorke’s impressive falsetto dominates throughout the album while the instruments of his collaborators blend so seamlessly with the electronics that it is almost impossible to tell where one ends and the other begins.

Many of the tracks on this album, such as ‘Default’, wouldn’t have seemed at all out of place on The Eraser. Flea and Waronker only really assert themselves on ‘Before Your Very Eyes…’ and ‘Stuck Together Pieces’, while Refosco showcases his talent on the brilliantly frenetic ‘Dropped’.

Amok is a solid, enjoyable alternative electronic album which should please Yorke and Godrich’s existing fanbase, but does little to move outside their comfort zone. Don’t expect any surprises.

In a Nutshell:Not so much an album from a super group as it is a ‘Thom Yorke and friends’ album.

By Steven Balbirnie

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