I remember listening to ‘Creep’ for the first time from the band I never heard before. It blew me away, and I remember to this day how it felt hearing ‘Creep’ for the first time. Still, there is more to ‘Pablo Honey’ than just ‘Creep’. Well, more or less. The album is split roughly half and half between rockier material and more delicate, prettier material. On the rockier side we have the opening ‘You’. You can hear traces of groups such as The Pixies in the way the song builds up and there may also be a little Eighties U2 in there someplace, too
‘Creep’ is sandwiched between ‘You’ and the nice guitar textures and sounds of the up-tempo ‘How Do You?’. ‘How Do You?’ suffers lyrically however, pretty simple lyrics, especially once we reach the underwhelming chorus. One interesting note. ‘How Do You?’ vocally more than musically is the sound of Thom seemingly trying to be John Lydon in places, not something Thom would attempt in the future, though. And for that, we can all be thankful, I feel. Yeah, this is a debut album and Radiohead are searching for themselves, for their own true character, not realising that with ‘Creep’, the gorgeously sung ‘Thinking About You’ and the closing textured and hypnotic guitar parts of ‘Blow Out’ – that they’d already found it. Elsewhere we’ve got the quiet, threatening to go loud, but never quite going all out for it ‘Stop Whispering’. Still, nice guitar parts even if this is one of those songs where Thom seems unsure of how to quite present his vocals.
‘Anyone Can Play Guitar’ was released as a single and crept into the lower reaches of the UK top forty. I was quite excited when I first heard ‘Anyone Can Play Guitar’, especially the neat and ominous guitar parts that introduced the song. Everything continues going very well until the chorus is reached. Like ‘How Do You?’, this isn’t a song with a very good chorus, the lyric makes me wince a little. Very simple, and that U2 thing definitely pops up here, something about the way Thom sings this. A couple of highlights open the second half of the album, both fairly unassuming songs and it’s where Radiohead aren’t trying as hard that they really succeed on ‘Pablo Honey’. Well, ‘Creep’ is the exception that proves the rule, I suppose. Anyway, ‘Ripcord’ has some nice pounding drum parts, neat guitars on this album full of neat guitars as well as a powerful enough Thom vocal. ‘Vegetable’ has some of the most intriguing lyrics on the album as well as some of the best vocals. ‘Lurgee’ points a way forwards to parts of ‘The Bends’, very spine chilling, beautiful stuff. Adore the sound of the bass line here. Ah, things falling into place!