Before Your Very Eyes is the opening track on AMOK, the 2013 debut from Atoms For Peace. While the members themselves don’t call themselves a supergroup, many music fans would be particularly inclined to view this band in that way; especially since its members include Thom Yorke of Radiohead, Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and producer/electronic composer Nigel Godrich. While these three musicians may seem poles apart in terms of genre and influences (and believe me, they are); they come together in a genre-bending chaos of sound that can only be known as Atoms For Peace. There’s too many “real” instruments for this to be strictly electronic music, the beat is too dance-able for it to be ambient, and it’s too ambient to be proper EDM. It is just Atoms For Peace, straight and clean.
Now I must admit, like anything Thom Yorke is involved in, this track can be a bit difficult to accept at first listen. There’s a ton of sound layering going on that warrants at least 2-3 listens before the song really makes an impact (at least in my case). But when this song impacts, it IMPACTS.
This song is nothing short of an aural film. The complex percussion rhythms created by multiple track layering slither like a bed of snakes while the distorted synth and computer soundscrash in sharp, static waves on the warm sandy guitar tones. All the while Yorke’s echo-laden vocal performance acts the siren; sweetly singing lyrics of the vacuous allure of youth and beauty while hinting at the impending prospect of old age that lies in wait. All of these elements homogenize in a way that allows the listener to unfold the sounds they hear; choosing to focus on any of the given tracks to gain a fresh insight into the song.
Now, multiply that by 9 and you’ve got AMOK. A fascinating blend of styles and sounds that sure to please those who like to try and decode songs for their hidden pearls of insight.