Humourless Marxist Reviews: Radiohead (A Moon Shaped Pool)


Radiohead, for those of you who were too busy reading about dialectics to keep up on the latest in pop culture, are a pop group from England, better known as the shit country next to Wales.

As England has a reputation for an inferior music scene to the one in Wales, it may surprise readers to see Worker’s Spatula, ICOR’s favourite news source, wasting its time analysing the work of some trendy English boy group instead of writing a piece on Super Furry Animals and the national question. This is even more curious given that Thom Yorke is not even very cute as compared to, say, Damon Albarn, the other famous alienated English boy band frontman.

The reason of course, is that Radiohead are all Posadists.

As the only Posadists to capture international attention, it’s worth analysing Radiohead’s lyrics to try to gain a deeper understanding about what role Posadism can play in the communist movement today. Radiohead does not disappoint, with Thom Yorke crooning over textured guitars and droning computer noises the expected Posadist response to the current international situation:

I’m really quite glad North Korea has the bomb
I believe and hope that they intend to use it
Bomb us to full communism
Ah ah ah ah ah

It’s good to know that Posadists uphold the correct line on North Korea in the absence of the Soviet Union, even if they do it in that weird bellicose way that Trotskyists and Maoists are known to talk. Other lyrics reveal other classic Posadist fixations:

I am a sad man under capitalism
But the spacemen and the dolphins
Are gonna take the bad feeling away
Oh yeah

On another song, “I Wanna Be An Amoeba”, Yorke shrieks over jangling guitars:

No more, no more, no more, no more
No more miserable, abominable sexual excitement
I wanna be an amoeba
And never be excited again

Sure Thom, I mean, me too. We all feel that way sometimes. But I don’t imagine we’ll be able to abandon sexuality until a quite advanced stage of socialism, as much as we might wish it.

The obvious shortcoming to the album, like all of Radiohead’s oeuvre, is that in spite of doing quite an admirable job of expressing the ubiquitous alienation under capitalism, it fails to contain any explicit calls to organise the proletarian masses. On the other hand, there’s some cool drumming.

Best song: “Anyone Can Play Guitar”

Worst songs: “Creep”, “Piano Man” by Billy Joel


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