Radiohead themselves seem to be ready to move on during opener “15 Step”. The song starts in well-traveled Radiohead territory—a heavy drum loop bumps and chugs along while Yorke’s trademark whine waxes paranoid, singing “First you reel me out and then you cut the string”. Jonny Greenwood layers some surges of static over all of that and the formula is set. That is, until a surprisingly docile, sliding guitar riff comes in, setting a contrast that carries through the entire album, where everything calm turns out to be decidedly not, and everything anarchic is more childlike and giddy than sinister. As the song pushes on, a battle arises as drummer Phil Selway takes on the drum loops, playing fast and precise as ever, and eventually he wins out. He finishes the song, and the rest of the record rests on his sturdy shoulders.
8 months ago