It cuts deep
It cuts deep
A human error
These are the rules
These are the rules
And they’re cruel
I’ve always been a fan of 12″ singles* and so when Atoms For Peace released Judge Jury And Executioner I was there. Doubly so because it was limited edition, triply so because it had an exclusive B-side and quadruply so because, well, just because because because, really.
As always with Atoms For Peace it was a really nice quality item to own. The artwork is another slice of Stanley Donwood’s 18-foot long ‘Lost Angeles Lost’, the title is inlaid with purple foil and the back cover is pleasingly debossed, to the point that I have probably stroked it marginally more times already than Angus Young’s hair on Flick of The Switch**.
‘Judge Jury And Executioner’ is probably the most obvious choice for a single from Amok. A brilliant review I read recently said that it was,
The closest to a conventional song on Amok is the swoonsome ‘Judge Jury and Executioner’, which seems to be built on the chassis of a mutant folk song and even has a touch of that Radiohead about it, underneath the divine choir of fallen angels, percussion and atmospherics. It is by far the shortest track on offer and the punchiest too.
Who am I to argue with the greats? Thom Yorke’s voice is such a wonderful instrument these days, the way he sings he picks out the lines like a spider’s web shimmering with waterdrops from the morning dew among the ghostly backing and spindly beat. The whole song is a beautifully fragile construct, it sounds like it might collapse under its’ own weight at any point.
But we all knew all of that anyway, how about ‘S.A.D’? I hear the masses chanting. ‘S.A.D’, does it stand for ‘Seasonal Affective Disrorder’ or ‘Sexy Apple Dumplings’? I’m leaning towards the latter. Interestingly it is the most emotional cut I’ve heard from the Amok sessions, Yorke’s voice sitting proudly atop a great muffled bassline from Flea and yet another skittering beat. The mood this time is tension and regret^^, it does sound beguilingly sad; I’m not a melancholy person but I do love me a sad tune or two, it has to be said. There is an interesting blurred quality about the backing this time, which recalls the distorted thumb piano sounds of Mbongwana Star to me.
Atoms For Peace get big 1537 bonus points for the lines ‘The door is ajar / The door is ajar’, which is a phrase I love and it reminds me of an old Bill Hicks routine and so I grin incongruously every time I hear it, particularly because he did it when I saw him live.
One time me and three friends dropped acid and drove around in my dad’s car. He has one of those talking cars, we’re trippin’, and the car goes, “The door is ajar.” We pulled over and thought about that for 12 hours. “How can a door be a jar?”…”Why would they put a jar on a car?”…”Oh man, the freeway’s melting”…”Put it in the jar.”
So maybe not so s.a.d after all.
*the first one I bought is probably still the best one too, maybe it gave me false expectations.
**I have never, ever felt to see if his buttocks are debossed^. No, that wasn’t me at all, a grown man feeling the drawn buttocks of another grown man wearing a school uniform? it all sounds a bit seedy to me.
^^well what did you expect? euphoria? really?