My Iron Lung
Despite being a short collection of outtakes from The Bends sessions, My Iron Lung is a big step up from Pablo Honey, and marks the moment where Radiohead started to make an impression of being more than just another promising band, displaying the inclinations and idiosyncrasies that would make them one of the most closely watched entities in the current music scene.
My Iron Lung is book-ended by two otherwise available tracks (‘My Iron Lung’, a reaction to the success of ‘Creep’, later appears on The Bends, and there’s a live acoustic version of ‘Creep’, but the songs in between are surprisingly substantial. The acoustic pair of ‘You Never Wash Up After Yourself’ and the Eastern-influence ‘Lozenge Of Love’ are less adorned than anything on their studio records, while ‘Punchdrunk Lovesick Singalong’, with a beautiful ringing guitar hook, is absolutely gorgeous. ‘The Trickster’ and ‘Lewis (Mistreated)’ are solid rockers that would have been right at home on The Bends, while ‘Permanent Daylight’ has a similarly epic feel as the best songs on OK Computer.
Get The Bends first, but it’s a comfort to know that there’s a worthy companion piece floating around.