Heard a song on the radio yesterday, a local station, maybe college, that was playing a lot of what we used to call alternative or underground (or sometimes just plain ol’ college rock) back in the days or yore when dinosaurs roamed the earth and R.E.M. was still the best American band (with, as always, the Replacements a close second) and Kurt Cobain wasn’t even yet big enough to be receiving scorn locally, and on came what sure sounded like Radiohead. I didn’t recognize it but I know that lead singer Thom Yorke’s got a new solo album out so it could be from that, or a more obscure older track, perhaps a b-side or something, with which I am simply unfamiliar.
And what struck me about this song wasn’t how catchy it was, or how abrasive, or clever or whatever. It wasn’t what often strikes me about Radiohead, how very indebted it is to 1970s Pink Floyd and Genesis and how unfair that it should be lauded for the same tendencies that had them fricasseed (albeit with genormous financial benefits for the Floyd boys).
No, mainly what really hit me when listening to the tune was how very, very, very much it sounded like Styx.
Domo arigato, Mister Roboto, for helping Thom Yorke escape just when he needed to.
[Incidentally, if you’ve never seen this, or it’s been a while, take the thirty seconds. It’ll make your day a little brighter, and if you’re a fan of Arrested Development, even brighter still. The timing’s a tiny bit off—the video doesn’t quite synch up with the audio perfectly—but it don’t matter much. Mister Roboto still rocks oh so large. Kinda. In a really awful way.]