Atoms For Peace – “Judge, Jury and Executioner”

Image“Judge, Jury and Executioner” is the first single from Atoms For Peace’s (AFP) upcoming debut album, Amok. AFP is an experimental supergroup composed of Thom Yorke, Flea, Nigel Godrich, Joey Waronker and Mauro Refosco. Yeah, you’re only probably familiar with three out of the five.

AFP came together in 2009 and did a brief nine date tour of the U.S. in 2010. “Judge, Jury and Executioner” was a part of the setlist for most of the tour. The live versions of the track groove with a more convincing sound—there is a darker, heavier feel that the album version seems to be missing. At the same time, the single version showcases Yorke’s vocals; his voice becomes a playful instrument that weaves and bounces above the bass and percussions. The ghostly quality of Yorke’s voice creates its own space and gives the listener room to navigate through the musically mathematical melody.

The problem at this point with “Judge, Jury and Executioner” is that it sounds like we’ve heard this song a few times before. As Yorke lyrically informs us on the track, “I went for my usual walk.” Creatively, AFP is the usual walk. The single plays out like it is stuck somewhere between Radiohead’s In Rainbows and Yorke’s 2006 solo album, The Eraser. This isn’t really a negative thing. It just seems like a supergroup like AFP would kick off their debut album with something less pedestrian and familiar. I’m looking forward to seeing how the single flows within the rest of Amok. For all you true Radiohead fans, does the single’s title have some sort of rhetorical connection with “Myxomatosis”?

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January 8, 2013. Tags: , , , . Songs.

One Comment

  1. Not Bound To Follow Suit replied:

    Hit the nail on the head.

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