Are Radiohead More Overrated Than Sliced Bread?

Published - - Posted in Opinion

Sliced bread is pretty damn good, you can’t deny it’s usefulness to be toasted, eaten uncooked or dipped in egg is a delicious proposition. Which leads me to my next argument: Radiohead is overrated.

The fans of Radiohead worship the ground they walk on and some even take their obsession of the band to extreme lengths. While you can’t help but admire Radiohead’s ability to stay in the game even though they’re pushing middle-age, are Radiohead the post-rock geniuses people make them out to be?

When Radiohead released fan-favourite album Kid A fans frothed at the mouth, swallowing the copious amounts of jizzum the record sprayed into the mouths of their fans.

While the release of this record appeared to be deliberate it was Radiohead admitting they couldn’t top OK Computer and so, they decided to release something so drastically different fans couldn’t compare it to their previous release. If it failed they could write it off as an experiment.

Radiohead got lucky, Kid A was a hit. The kids loved it and Thom Yorke and co were saved from the perils of mediocrity. People proclaimed the record was the future of rock, everyone will have glitches and electronic drums in their music from this day forward critics and fans alike said.

If Radiohead were so set of breaking the mould on Kid A, why did they stop there? It seems every album since has merely been a slight tweak of the formula. The same electronic effects, off-beat electronic beats and Thom Yorke borderline whining. Why are you so sad Thom? Cheer up, your royalty cheque will be arriving in the mail soon.

While Radiohead are no doubt savvy business men disguised as the anti-industry, against the status-quo of the mainstream with moves such as releasing their 2007 album In Rainbows behind a pay-what-you-want scheme which was merely a controlled and intentional leak, Radiohead are very much in the business of making money. They’re career musicians at the end of the day. I doubt Thom would know how to flip burgers or wipe down tables.

Don’t get me completely wrong, Radiohead are not a bad band. Each member is creative, capable and shows the kind of artistic  flair most artists do not.

I can easily think of several bands that are worse than Radiohead. You can’t deny they’ve written a clever track or two in their careers and the fact they can sell out their fancy shows must mean something.

How their music is received by so-called critics is another matter entirely. It seems Radiohead get a free pass when it comes criticism from so-called music journalists.

Radiohead could release an album comprised of fart sound effects and critics would find a way to proclaim how genius the album is. In Rainbows had flaws, The King of Limbs had flaws and yet critics (the commercial ones at least) all praised the album for its genius and blamed any noticeable shortcomings on the fans and not the band themselves.

The irony of Thom’s refusal to tour overseas for so long due to planes being bad for the environment was an excuse we all bought. Then when it was announced a little while ago Radiohead were coming to Australia my first thoughts were, “What, are planes good for the environment now, or did Radiohead just get offered a ridiculous amount of money to come here?”

In 2006 Thom Yorke pondered quitting touring altogether because aeroplanes are bad for the environment. Almost 8 years ago he had the following to say when the band were wanting to tour Japan:

I think it’s a necessary part of what I do, to tour or play live, but I find it unacceptable what the consequences of that are. Some of our best ever shows have been in the US, but there’s 80,000 people there and they’ve all been sitting in traffic jams for five or six hours with their engines running to get there, which is bollocks.

He then went on to further say the following:

I would consider refusing to tour on environmental grounds, if nothing started happening to change the way the touring operates. I’m trying to figure out a way of getting to Japan by train. I quite fancy that Trans-Siberian whatsitsname but apparently it’s a bit scary.

Lets be totally honest here. Radiohead have become nothing more than an over-glorified and overrated jam band. Most of their new material is a bunch of experimentation of weird effects and whining, the time signatures are rarely in 4/4, so people in the audience can’t even dance or move in time with the music. Have you ever seen a crowd try moving to a non 4/4 time signature? Awkward.

I am almost willing to bet Tom Yorke farts into empty jam jars so he isn’t contributing to green house gas emissions and maybe even washes & then reuses his toilet paper until it crumbles into nothing because he is trying to bring attention to deforestation. We are talking about a guy here who probably loves the smell of his own butt-hole.

Are Radiohead musical geniuses that break the mould and write music that makes you sit up and say, “Holy shit, take my money and sodomise me with your electronic drum kit”, no. Are they clever in the way they deceive their die-hard fans and how they approach the music business with their, “We are in control of our music, you are benefiting us” mantra? Yes.

Lets take a break from the negativity here. Radiohead aren’t a bad band, but they’re not the music barrier breaking messiahs their hardcore fans and jizzum guzzling music critics make them out to be. Radiohead is overrated.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to make a sandwich.

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  • Rorschach

    Yeah, radiohead praising eco-pain asses!

  • Ben L

    This article is astounding in how it fails to defend a controversial thesis.

    Really? The best argument you have (judging by the number of times it came up, and how much attention was paid to it) is that if Radiohead made an album full of fart noises, the critics would love it?

    There’s no genuine position here. No attempt to address Radiohead’s lyrical content, dedicated use of dissonance, vocal style, or drowsy acoustic-electronic blend. It’s just one foul-minded guy downtalking a band that he doesn’t have the brains to enjoy.

  • Anthony Costa

    Completely agree. Mediocre musicians, at best. Whiny, one dimensional voice. The type of music that someone who graduated from an art college or architecture school would make. Some decent chord progressions and experimentation, but definitely one of the most overrated bands. Whenever I hear them, I need to immediately play some XTC to cleanse my ears with truly good art-pop.