The album cover for The Bends has always unsettled me. That man looks so creepy. Like he’s relieving himself. Like something from the 90’s. Oh.
The Bends removes the grunge sound from Pablo Honey and brings Radiohead one step closer to their final significant evolution in sound. Now the tracks have a much lighter feel, though not on subject matter, with all the guitars focussing on more interesting structures, rather than making it all feel a little stuffy. They’re breathing now they’ve got the début out the way and many of the tracks strike a chord, one of emotion.
‘The Bends‘, ‘High And Dry‘ and ‘Fake Plastic Trees‘ are three tracks of such quality, all stuck together so there is no room for mediocrity to sneak in. Filler is absent and while the constant dirge like quality can tire, it can also perfectly synchronise when you’ve had one of those days. The ones when you want everyone to drop dead so you can sit alone in your own tiny world. Such a shame the band pulled away from this guitar led sound after they created this. Probably to move away from people screaming for the next ‘Creep‘. Shouldn’t have told them to stop whispering.
An album to listen to when you’ve got the bends. So relieve yourself.