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Must See: Atoms For Peace, September 2013

As a guy who actively disliked Radiohead when I reviewed  them last year at Prudential, I have difficult explaining my pleasure in Thom Yorke's solo work. I loved The Eraser from 2006 and preferred 2009's  "Feeling Pulled Apart By Horses" to "Harrowdown Hill".

It was "Horses" that really set the stage for Beats Ahoy Yorke Supergroup Atoms For Peace -featuring Nigel Godrich as well as Flea and Joey Waronka and Mauro Refosco. So, yeah, you knew this wasn't gonna be a pop move. It is as if everybody listened to" Lotus Flower" with an aching headache that lessened with the more clacks you stuck into it.

Atom For Peace's superb debut album Amok is not House, it isn't dance, and nobody is working on BPMS, rather it is integrated lo-fi grooves that are placed right on top of the tracks. And despite Yorke's vocals, these are tracks not songs.

I loved it so much I bough a tix for their Le Poisson Rouge 1am gig but, cmon, it was 1am and I am 56 years old and I bailed. After reading Amy Nielsen's review I feel safer in my assumption that it wasn't the show for me. My heart certainly does not skip a beat at the sight of Yorke's bobbing pony tail.

Still, I would love to see the band on stage and will be doing so at Barclay Center, September 27th, 2013, A Friday no less. I am wondering if the levels of beat sophistication will implode on a stage that big, can they connect? God knows, Radiohead can't with all the LCDs and techno dreams known to man. They are still too cool on stage. But since iced rhythms is AFP schtick it might be magnificent. 

Incidentally, I don't believe I reviewed Amok, so here is a sentence to keep you going. "Judge, Jury, Executioner" you knew and loved and it isn't the best. Opener "Before Your Very Eyes…" is a paddy waddy beat over their most melodic moment and "Stuck Together Pieces" sounds like it was recorded under water and includes Flea's greatest moment. A perfect dance trance contraction made to move you from side to side EDM at its best. Grade: A-

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