Music / Reviews

Review: Amok by Atoms for Peace

In at least one sense, Amok is going to get a very similar reaction to The Eraser, Thom Yorke’s 2006 solo album. If you’re a big fan of Yorke, like myself, you’re going to like it significantly more than people that are not big fans.

Who isn’t a big Thom Yorke fan?

They exist, just trust me. It’s evidenced by the lukewarm reviews that Amok has received to date.

But this release is also similar in nature to The Eraser. Both are 9 tracks long. There are similarities in the album art. Superficial features aside, the albums have a very similar feel, in that they both sound like Thom Yorke doing glitch pop.

Why am I talking about Yorke so much? Because, somewhat disappointingly, this isn’t much of an Atoms for Peace album. The rest of the band really only gets to poke out its collective head on “Stuck Together Pieces”, one of Amok‘s standouts in large part because we get one of those funk rock Flea basslines that we were all expecting to fill up the album. There’s also a nice little guitar riff that comes about a third of the way into the track.

Now don’t get me wrong. As I’ve said, I’m a big Yorke fan, and I thoroughly enjoyed the album. Ever since I first heard “Default” (the second track on the album) about 6 months ago, I’ve been in love with it and its glitch intro. The album sort of feels like a sequel to The Eraser, another album that I enjoyed a great deal. The tracks are a bit repetitive, except for “Amok”, which teeters on the edge of future garage, and is intriguing if nothing else. They often build to a crescendo, and they’re almost all entirely beat driven. But they’re too good for that repetition to really hamper them, too tightly constructed.

If you’re a big Thom Yorke fan, make sure you give Amok a listen. If not, give it a spin anyway.

Amok Rating:

Three Stars