NME Gives Com Lag 7/10

by Dylan on March 25, 2004

NME, which promised a review of the “new Radiohead album”, reviewed the Com Lag EP, as expected. Quite positive for a 7 review (quotes such as “It?s probably appropriate now to break out the bubbly in celebration of a decade of great releases. Not since David Bowie has an artist had such a long run of fine albums.” and “like The Beatles, they?re driven by a sense of restless experimentation balanced with commercial success” generally indicate a better-reviewed album), the only fault the reader seems to be able to find is that the EP is, in fact, a B-sides compilation.
Here’s the track-by-track rundown, as presented in NME.
Recorded at London Earls Court in 2003, the opening track of ?Hail To The Thief? is the only non B-side. Starting with morbid arpeggios giving way to a blazing passion that verges on autistic in its violent repetition of phrases.
Myxomatosis (Christian Vogel Remix)
B-side of ?2+2=5?. This mix recasts the original as tom-tom heavy electronica.
I Will (1st Mix At Ocean Way)
B-side of ?2+2=5?, written in 1999. Interestingly, like ?Like Spinning Plates? from ?Amnesiac?, it has a backing track that?s basically ?I Will? played backwards.
Paperbag Writer
B-side of ?There There?. A Tiki-style backing, disjointed bass and Thom urging you to ?blow into a paper bag? make a disturbing whole.
I Am A Wicked Child
B-side of ?Go To Sleep?. A maudlin slice of introspection where Thom imagines himself as a harmful sinner while a harmonica wails. The ?I wish I could be good? lyric is heartbreaking.
I Am Citizen Insane
B-side of ?Go To Sleep?. Bearing the influence of Aphex Twin?s ?Collected Ambient Works?, it includes a couple of ?Hey?s put through the electric mincer, and what sound like the guitar effect from U2?s ?I Still Haven?t Found What I?m Looking For?.
Scatterbrain (Four Tet Remix)
B-side of ?2+2=5?. A delicate hum of bells and clicks that blossoms into the sound of the saddest Christmas ever with The Beach Boys? ?Wind Chimes? in the background.
Gagging Order
B-side of ?Go To Sleep?. First demoed in 1999 as ?Move Along?. A delicate acoustic finger-picking exercise that imagines a broken heart, pleading for the bystander/heartbreaker to ?Move along, there?s nothing left to see?.
Fog (Again)
B-side of ?Go To Sleep?. Recorded in Paris in July 2003. Originally the B-side to ?Knives Out?, it was then titled ?Alligators in New York Sewers?. Sounds like a moody personal swansong at the end of a disturbing Las Vegas show.
Where Bluebirds Fly
B-side of ?There There?. A sinister collection of jittery beats and wordless sighing from Thom. Used as the intro music for their last tour.
(Thanks to CUTW.)

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