I vaguely remember reading something about Atoms For Peace
a long time ago. I knew Thom Yorke was involved. Then I found out Flea was playing bass. I heard nothing the group released and payed very little attention to any news or announcements, release dates or singles, videos or teasers, etc. To be honest, I heard "Thom Yorke", thought "Oh, cool" and waited for the day (today) when I could hear what Atoms For Peace was all about.
You could consider me a square for not being totally up on this stuff, as someone who writes about music. However, I'm not going to be too hard on myself for going into this record partially blind. Thom Yorke has never really been a stranger to electronic music production, but I know for the past couple of years it's been his thing. After giving The King of Limbs
a few lazy listens two years ago, I decided to not be very stoked on Yorke's proceeding endeavors. But Yorke and Flea? That's something I had to check out, so I did. Four times in a row.
The musicians work with both fresh and familiar sounds, composing engaging beats, while Yorke haunts the tracks with somber melodies. What I liked most about this record, is that Atoms For Peace have crafted songs with dimension. The five-plus-minute tracks don't seem as long with such a lush mix of sounds. The constant morphing of beats keep them from getting boring or repetitive even though they are often the bulk of the song. AMOK
fills the listener's entire head-space, even when sounds are sparse. Obviously, Flea's bass work is in the pocket, either grounding the spacier astro-jams like "Default", or driving twitchy sprawlers like "Dropped".
I'm not a super-fan or a follower of all things Yorke, but I know Thom Yorke's is probably one of the best musical minds we have right now. AMOK
isn't so incredible for me to just have this realization now, but I think I had just forgotten about it for a little. Of course, it's not all Thom. Atoms For Peace has some promise as a band with this thing. The bottom line is that I listened to AMOK
four times in a row because I really enjoyed it.
Check out the stream of AMOK
below or at their web page (which has a rad glitchy embedded webpage shuffler background) here: https://amok.atomsforpeace.info/