Title: Hail To The Thief
Due: June 9
Production: Nigel Godrich and Radiohead
RADIOHEAD'S SIXTH album is complete. Recording began in August last year at Ocean Way in LA - rather than the chilly northern European climes in which their previous two albums were made - and concluded at the band's Oxford base. The resulting record is described by guitarist Ed O'Brien as "confrontational, optimistic" and encapsulating all the best parts of the last four albums. "It won't alienate people," he promises. "We're not so guarded now; the lyrics are still a heavy mother, but people will latch onto it more easily."
Re-energised, the band recorded quickly and tinkered at leisure. The album contains different versions of 12 songs played during the band's Iberian tour last year, and two completely unheard tracks called The Gloaming and Backdrifts. Drummer Phil Selway cites the crucial role of their "co-pilot" producer Godrich. "Our working relationship with Nigel has benefited from working together so much," he explains, "we'd need five years to get to the same point with anyone else." He adds that guitars are back to the fore and that Yorke has "moved on lyrically, because it would have been easy to be cliched."
"The last two albums, we were listening to Boards Of Canada and Autechre," says O'Brien, This time there is no emblem, no musical hijacking. I think we've got over that musical snobbery. We feel re-hungered." A single, There There, will be released on May 26.
Songs: 2 + 2 = 5, Where I End And You Begin, We Suck Young Blood, Go To Sleep, A Punch-Up At A Wedding, Myxomatosis.
The Buzz: "You know that time when bands begin to swagger, like when the Stones got in a groove from '68-73? In the last two years, I think we've done that." Ed O'Brien