Music review: Radiohead's new song Burn The Witch is among their best




Burn The Witch, like Radiohead's best songs, is a tension-filled affair sweetened with arresting hooks.

The British band's first new song to be released in five years features a relentless, percussive string section that drives the song and does not let up until the end of the tune, which clocks in at just under four minutes.

There's certainly an undeniable krautrock feel to the arrangements, right down to the skittering hi-hats of the drums and start-stop bass line - it's sure to inspire awkward dance moves a la the band's frontman Thom Yorke on 2011's Lotus Flower video.

Lyrically, the song seems to be a commentary on unmitigated, Big Brother-type surveillance and mob harassment.

"Stay in the shadows / Cheer at the gallows / This is a round-up," sings Yorke, perhaps aimed at anonymous vigilantes on social media. (Could the blue bird at the start of the song's music video be a reference to the Twitter logo?)

His familiar, reverb-laden falsettos add an ethereal vibe to the song, even as he croons ominous lines such as "Burn the witch / We know where you live".

Like the band's infamous video for 1997 classic Paranoid Android, Burn The Witch turns child-like animation into something sinister. Just when you think that the claymation characters are cute and harmless, they turn on one another in a storyline straight out of horror film Wicker Man.