|Banging On Radiohead
From the July 15, 2000 NME
By Steven Wells
The good news is that Thom Yorke has finally taken my advice and joined a gym! Check out the improved posture, the bulging biceps and the fact that he now smiles on stage. See, Thom, I told you. Nothing like pulling your socks up, gulping the vitamins, tucking into a juicy steak and pumping the old iron to get those endorphins flowing and chase those blues away!
The bad news is that the new Radiohead album has apparently been ruthlessly purged of anything that might even vaguely resemble a good pop song. Sigh! It seems my work is still not finished so, Thom, listen up, man! Pop songs are good! They make the world go round, they put a spring in your step and they give the grocer's boy something to whistle as he cycles around the village on his trusty old boneshaker delivering sausages, bananas and Anal Intruder vibrator batteries to the denizens of middle England. You fucking SNOB!
Don't get me wrong. I like Radiohead. They're a great little band. A great little POP band. It's their fans I can't stand - the po-faced, lemon-sucking, pretentious little pricks. And the main plank of their wankerishly inadequate philosophy is, of course, that Radiohead are something "more" than a pop band. What, exactly, they're not sure. But something very grand and clever and intellectual and deep and meaningful in a very profound way.
But this is bollocks, Thom, isn't it? So why are you pandering to the sneering little gimps? Why not just do your job properly? You know the score. Hook, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, fiddly middle eight bit and/or screaming guitar solo, verse, chorus, and get the fuck out of there. Thank you ladeez an' genelmen! Radiohead have the left the building! ROAR! You know, good ole rock'n'fuckin'roll! Which, now that you've got yourself sorted out gymwise, would have angry and optimistic lyrics. As opposed to all that self-indulgent, self-pitying, depressing, mawkish and downright bloody boring miserablist toss you were churning out when you were a couch potato.
Like Lisa Simpson once said: "Making teenagers miserable is like shooting fish in a barrel." But you're better than that, Thom, aren't you? So prove it. Write something happy. With a tune. Now.