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ACL Music Fest 2013 Sunday Reviews

By Austin Powell, Fri., Oct. 4, 2013

ACL Music Fest 2013 Sunday Reviews

Atoms for Peace

Amok (XL)

Thom Yorke broke from Radiohead for 2006's The Eraser, a haunting solo album of fractured beats, glitchy ballads, and unsettling paranoia. Named after a Dwight Eisenhower speech, Atoms for Peace – Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, studio drummer Joey Waronker, Brazilian percussionist Mauro Refosco, and Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich – began as Yorke's backing band for the subsequent 2009 tour. The group's long-awaited debut adds some lifeblood to The Eraser's digital pulse, Amok sounding like an album that was recorded, deconstructed, and pieced back together, then processed and remixed. The results are an immersive, late-night listen built around Yorke's crystalline croon. With washboard guitar, keyboard stabs, and knuckled grooves, opener "Before Your Very Eyes..." and "Stuck Together Pieces" channel Confusion/Expensive Shit-era Fela Kuti, while "Dropped" rushes like Krautrock at 45rpm. While not as inscrutable as Yorke's finest work, Amok brings him one step closer to blurring that distinction between man and machine. (7:40pm, AMD stage)

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