Surprise! Atoms for Peace have released a new track called “Magic Beanz.” For those unaware, which was probably everyone, the “Z” is especially important according to frontman Thom Yorke. This is an interesting track made by him and Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, but how does it stack up with the rest of Amok?
Quite fine, if I may answer my own question. “Magic Beanz” features much of the layered, complex procession that is paramount with this band. There’s a lot more sampling going on than anything on Amok and may be all-around the most electronic-laden track put out by the band. This could very well be because only two members of the ‘supergroup’ were a part of this release.
The synths will seem oh so familiar at first but they then fade into the distance as samples and more drum layers set in. Yorke delivers the same haunting vocals we’ve heard before but with more effects tacked on. Just before the two-minute mark he sounds exactly like someone else and it’s driving me mad (if anyone knows please enlighten me in the comments).
I wonder if this really is new or if it’s a b-side to Amok. It’s a great song, but not particularly mind-blowing. The track is on a similar level to the rest of the album and sounds like it’s right off it. If it had been on Amok I would have ranked it with the best of its songs. I appreciate it more every time I listen to it; there’s just so many different things to pay attention to. If you are already a fan of just have a few minutes, check this out. Definitely worth your time.