Radiohead is Back: There’s no Reprieve from the Relentlessly Beautiful “Burn the Witch”

burn_the_witch_cover_4000_280416Man. Thom Johnny, Phil, Colin and Ed. Way to come out swinging. Way to come out with something different. Isn’t it great that Thom REALLY likes wailing and Johnny REALLY likes composing scores? And isn’t it great that they do it TOGETHER? Add the chill, asynchronous, syncopated drum from Phil, hitting that cymbal at all the wrong times in exactly the right ways, and Johnny’s BASS. I think I have to coin a new term for it. Rusty Bass. I LOVE rusty bass. I’m just gonna come out and say it. When that kicked in, I was like, THIS IS WHY I RADIOHEAD. (#thisiswhyiradiohead) I didn’t hear any guitar in the song. Sorry Ed! I’m sure you get a nice break during this song during shows that you’re really gonna enjoy.

Musically, Burn the Witch is one long destructive wave. It’s like, when your windshield wiper is wiping up and down in sync with a blinking street light, but eventually they get more and more out of sync until they’re doing the exact opposite. In this song, each long, flat hit of the violin feels like a brick being laid. Everything’s fine until too many bricks get out of sync and everything crashes in on each other. And obviously, those bricks are the bricks of society which are falling all around us because of calls to “BURN THE WITCH!” to fix our problems instead of actually addressing them.

The chords are beautiful but they’re pelted at you, one after the other. The forward motion in the driving bass and strings is relentless. Even in Thom’s wailing, there’s little comfort or reprieve. Sounds like Radiohead to me!


It’s like they used an arpeggiator but used real instruments. If this were Taylor Swift, it’d be the backing track of Style.

What IS this? Is this a SINGLE? That a ROCK BAND RELEASED?? in 2016??

The last song I liked so quickly was Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus. I really loved that one from the moment it came on. I also hated In Rainbows the first couple times I heard it. And now it’s my favorite of their albums. Maybe it’s a bad sign if I like it right away?

I can really SEE those strings players like, fucking playing the SHIT outta those Cellos n stuff.

They used the PERFECT cymbal sound. To mesh with the other instruments. Nigel Godrich? Is that you!?

Jesus LOVE that cymbol. SO LOVE.

The staccato makes it so bright

OOO the bass line from Paranoid Android! i’m gonna listen to that now.

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