Radiohead–Bangers and Mash

It’s a wonder that so many perfectly crafted Radiohead songs are never officially released in any capacity, but more seemingly unfinished pieces end up on EPs, foreign editions and extra discs.  Bangers and Mash doesn’t feel totally complete, but that’s what makes it somewhat unique and wonderful as a Radiohead track.  It’s slightly primal and scattershot.  The crunching guitar hearkens back to OK Computer opener Airbag.  The whole song is loose and, frankly, rocking in a way that the band had mostly forgone years ago.  But even a throwaway, second disc, guitar track has got to say something if it’s worth Radiohead releasing it.  This time it’s a threat to the corrupt and powerful.  “If you are on the top/then it is a long drop” chants Thom Yorke before whipping himself into a frenzy.  “I’m taking you down/I’m taking you down/I’m taking you down when I go down,” he croaks, getting ready to self-immolate in order to expose everyone from the Chief of Police, the Vice Chancellor and “Lord and Lady blah blah.”  The song is an expression of sputtering anger, the kind that can almost never be contained and refined.  Instead, it’s jagged, raw and immediate, providing a welcome change from the cold, calculating disapproval of the bands other works.

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