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9 February, 2005

Fitter happier

Listening to 'Pablo Honey' and 'The Bends' today, I remembered that when I first encountered Radiohead in the mid-Nineties, I thought they were really 'heavy', and that their sound was predominantly 'wall-of-noise' discordant guitar feedback.  I suppose it was quite a contrast to Jethro Tull and the folk-rock I liked at that time, so I was particularly conscious of the unfamiliar elements in their material.

It's comparable to my first day at primary school. My overiding memory of that event was of overwhelming noise, even though there couldn't have been more than ~25 children present. It's not that they were extraordinarily loud, just that I'd never encountered such a concentration of children in one echoey room.

Returning to the point: in the years since I first heard those albums, my taste and musical experience have broadened, encompassing full-on prog/death metal (e.g. Opeth). Hence, whilst the albums obviously couldn't have changed, my perception of early Radiohead has, radically. It's like hearing a totally different band for the first time. I can even see the alleged similarity between Radiohead songs and some aspects of Porcupine Tree's back catalogue.

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