Listening to the Radiohead album on my headphones, I can’t shake the thought that this record sounds like a Mercedes-Benz. It’s a luxury cocoon, coddling you in sumptuous leather, hi-tech climate control systems, finished with an exotic walnut trim and discreetly padded with dozens of perfectly placed miniature airbags. It feels like music made by rich people, in a very rich studio. Damn, I feel spoilt just listening to it! Every click, every hum, every whirr, every vowel – it all sounds so perfectly engineered and constructed, hermetically sealed to keep the world at bay. Even the skuzzy guitars on “Bodysnatchers” (a wonderful song, up there with “House of Cards” as my favourite) have been precisely and repeatedly honed, so they’re not really dirty at all. “Stay with us, in here,” Thom is whispering. “We’ll look after you.”
If you’re feeling even remotely guilty about underpaying for your download of In Rainbows, and maybe want to send some hard-earned cash the way of a band and label that could probably use it, why not try the Sequins? Straight outta Coventry, they have the same nervous, skittery intensity as Radiohead – it’s just cheaper, simpler, more lovable, more Altered Images than Talk Talk. You can pre-order the debut album The Death of Style from Tough Love Records right now, and they’ll let you download all the songs in advance. The album’s handmade, sequintastic packaging looks much sexier than Radiohead’s deluxe discbox, too. And I can’t hear any songs on In Rainbows as inspired as “Let’s Go Drinking in the Morning” or epic closer “The French Way of Life,” either. Roll down the windows, breathe in the chilly air, rev up your crappy little engine, and take a spin.