January 5, 2022

The Smile - "You Will Never Work in Television Again"

The Smile, the new project from Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood, have shared their first official single and it's called "You Will Never Work in Television Again."

After making a surprise appearance during last year's Glastonbury live streaming event, insurmountable hype began to build around the idea of a new band from Radiohead's two most prominent members and the drummer for the rising London jazz group Sons of Kemet. Now, months later, we're treated to the first studio recording from the trio and it was produced by Thom and Jonny's long-time collaborator Nigel Godrich. The song, "You Will Never Work in Television Again," is a very rock-forwrd song and one of the grittiest and most guitar-centric song we've heard from Thom and Jonny in quite some time. This is a fast, garage-rock kind of song that feels routed in punk and really dispels the notion that this isn't a rock record which really begs the question as to what the other tracks must sound like if this is indeed the case. Thom's vocals are rushed and spit out with fury that is matched by intense guitar and hurried drumming. Breaking from the context of Radiohead gives new space and creative exploration for Yorke and Greenwood which they seem to relish in on this number. It's refreshing to hear them sound both nostalgic for their rock-heavy past, but also exciting to hear the influence of a new drummer bringing a distinct energy to this group's sound. It's a triumphant kick-start to what feels like a very promising album. Hitting at a break-neck speed, it's off to the races with this one and the momentum never recedes. This is an all out raging song and it's fueled with stellar grooves and kinetic energy. Rock music hasn't been as prominent in recent years and may even be considered a bit gauche at this point for some. Long time fans may have even wondered if this kind of music would even be in the sonic template at this stage in the careers of Yorke and Greenwood, but "You Will Never Work in Television Again" quickly debunks any of that thinking and reaffirms that it's damn-near impossible to ever know what path these two will head down. For many, this is a road towards a dream that seemed to be over. Luckily for us, this is actually just a new beginning. As for the album itself, the band, which takes its name from a Ted Hughes poem, says it's at the track-listing stage and still doesn't have a release date yet. However, the group did announce shows in London at the end of January that will be broadcast online. Here's to hoping the record isn't too far behind.

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