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Making the transition from the mediocre rock presented on "Pablo Honey" to the extroardinary guitar rock that makes "The Bends" one of the best albums of the nineties, this EP serves as a great accompaniment to either album. It has many memorable tracks that can give a casual Radiohead listener just what they want, especially when they feel that "The Bends" album is not enough to satisfy their cravings.
Featuring six non-album tracks, this ep is an excellent listen from the classic title-track to the acoustic rendition of their major hit "Creep", which gives a different mood to an overplayed song. I will continue this review with a complete track by track listing,
1. My Iron Lung
- A classic track from the chiming guitar arpeggio during the intro to Thom Yorke's amazing vocals throughout the song. From listening to this track alone you can already sense a change from the "Pablo Honey" days. That powerful hook in the chorus that hits you, seems to have some influence from Nirvana's "Heart Shaped Box" but that could just be my bad sense. Then the transition near the end of the song "If you're frightened you can be frightened..." with those bright guitar chords underlying the vocals is just perfect.
2. The Trickster
- Some very progressive guitar chords lead to an amazing chorus. Once again Thom's voice is just excellent. The guitar tone and lead is just another premonition of what will come on "The Bends". This is a very proggy song and the guitar solo near the end is simple and amazing with plenty of emotion.
3. Lewis (Mistreated)
- This is a little catchy song, that slows down from its chorus to a nice mellow verse. There is a very melodic interlude near the end of the song. Not a bad song, but not a very memorable one either.
4. Punchdrunk Lovesick Singalong
- Guitar arpeggios followed by a delayed flowing lead guitar drowned by the chords that accompany Thom's vocals. The Chorus is a melting dropout as it is immediately followed by the verse. The delayed guitar and organ in this song makes it easy to doze off to.
5. Permanent Daylight
- The light & moody chord progression is accompanied by some distorted power chords. Thom Yorke's vocals are muffled throughout the song. Not much else to say about this number, The tempo slows down near the end of the song as it drops out into Lozenge of Love.
6. Lozenge of Love
- Some light fingerpicking is soon follwed by Thom's voice accompanied by a guitar lead following his vocal melody. A very short and beautiful song. I sense some influence from Nick Drake on this track.
7. You Never Wash Up After Yourself
- An extremely short song that encompasses Thom Yorke's vocals letting off a sense of paranoia at one point, and then moving to a sense of reassurance and apathy. This song could be made into a classic but it also is nice to take it for what it is, a short relaxing tune.
8. Creep [Acoustic]
- The famous four chords that make this nineties radio staple of self loathing commence, as Thom Yorke warms up to the song. Although many listeners may be quite sick of this song after hearing it many times, I can say that the unique vocal changes are put in quite good places. Also, the "She's running out again" part of the song is sung so beautifully and sounds amazing. This is an amazing version of this song on this ep, this really wasn't just thrown on the ep to give casual listeners a reason to buy the album, it is an raw rendition of the song.
I can say that this short EP is an incredible listen, it has some memorable tracks that aren't on any other albums. For those that do not have "The Bends" it is recommended to purchase that one first before buying this album. This is a great companion to that album or Pablo Honey. It is a state of transition for the band and takes the listener from the classic title track to an amazing acoustic version of their greatest hit song.