COM LAG (2plus2isfive)

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COM LAG (2plus2isfive)
Radiohead Com Lag (japan) CD cover.png
EP by Radiohead
Released 24 March 2004
Recorded September 2002 – February 2003, 26 November 2003
Genre Experimental rock
Length 36:21
Label Toshiba-EMI
Producer Nigel Godrich, Radiohead
Radiohead chronology
Hail to the Thief
COM LAG (2plus2isfive)
In Rainbows

COM LAG (2plus2isfive) is the sixth EP by the English rock band Radiohead, released in March 2004 in Japan and Australia. It is a compilation that collects many of the B-sides from the singles released in support of their 2003 album Hail to the Thief, also including remixes by Cristian Vogel and Four Tet.


The EP was first released in Japan and Australia on 24 March 2004, followed with a release in Canada on 13 April 2004 and finally released in the United Kingdom on 16 April 2007[1][2] and in the United States on 8 May 2007.[3][4][5] This album has been released with the Copy Control protection system in some regions.

The original Japanese pressings of the EP had a mastering error on the seventh track "Skttrbrain", which caused loud static to be heard in the left channel four times throughout the song.[6] The EP was recalled by EMI/Toshiba, and the error was fixed in later releases.[7]

Cover art[edit]

The speech bubble on the cover says "はい、チーズ。" ("Hai, chiizu."), akin to the English phrase "say cheese". The quote on the back cover of the album "I travelled all over the world. I stayed in the best hotels, visited the best beaches and I had access to beautiful women, champagne and caviar. No, I don't regret a minute of it." is from the spy John Symonds.

In an interview with the Radiohead fansite, artist Stanley Donwood, who has designed all artwork for the group since 1994, said of the cover: "We added a Dutch influence by imagining a range of Delftware that featured despotic sperm monsters and genetically modified bears. Also, the packaging will have a very shiny varnish. Like a glaze. I would like to make an entire range: tea pot, gravy boat, etc.- more tea, vicar?"[8]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2.5/5 stars[9]
NME 7/10[10]
Pitchfork 4.0/10[11]
Sputnikmusic 3.5/5[12]

The EP received mixed reviews from music critics. NME critic Anthony Thornton wrote: "Never content with relaxing into an accepted way of doing things, this record, while being flawed - it is a b-sides compilation after all - confirms Radiohead as the true inheritors of The Beatles legacy rather than Oasis."[10] Adam Downer of Sputnikmusic stated: "While ComLag does have its flaws, it's not a bad set of B-Sides. Some of it is actually fantastic."[12]

Paste critic Jeff Elbel described the release as "an appealing but inessential curio," writing: "Given the steep asking price for this Japanese import, I’d spare your wallet the needless emptying."[13] Allmusic's Andy Kellman thought: "Naturally, the release isn't nearly as cohesive as Hail to the Thief; its apparent intent is to supply the fans with another stream of the band's recordings, regardless of both how they fit together and how mixed the tracks are to begin with."[9] Chris Ott of Pitchfork criticized the EP, writing: "You'd expect more from ideas that Radiohead fleshed out as a unit, but the stolen-time experiments and solo performances on this EP's tail end far outshine its exhausting first half." Ott also stated that the release is "worthwhile only to Radiohead's wealthiest fans."[11]

Track listing[edit]

All music composed by Radiohead.

No. Title Length
1. "2 + 2 = 5" (live at Earls Court, London, England, 26/11/03) 3:34
2. "Remyxomatosis" (Cristian Vogel RMX) 5:08
3. "I Will" (Los Angeles version) 2:13
4. "Paperbag Writer"   3:58
5. "I Am a Wicked Child"   3:05
6. "I Am Citizen Insane"   3:32
7. "Skttrbrain" (Four Tet RMX) 4:26
8. "Gagging Order"   3:35
9. "Fog (Again)" (live) 2:19
10. "Where Bluebirds Fly"   4:23

Omitted is the seven-minute demo version of "There There", which appears on the first "2 + 2 = 5" single.

"I Will"[edit]

"I Will (Los Angeles version)" is an alternative version of the album track "I Will" and was released on the second "2 + 2 = 5" CD single. Whereas the album version features just Thom Yorke on the guitar and vocals, the Los Angeles version is a full band track, recorded during the two-week session at Ocean Way studios in Los Angeles where most of the tracks that made up Hail to the Thief were recorded. The album version was recorded at a later date in Radiohead's studio in Oxfordshire. The album version runs to 1:59, while this version runs to about 2:11.

In the iTunes download edition of this EP,[14] the track mislabelled "I Will (Los Angeles Version)" is actually a work in progress (running 2:22) from the version of Hail to the Thief that was leaked ten weeks before the release. On 15 August 2016, this download was replaced with another one containing the correct version of the track.[15]

"Fog (Again)"[edit]

"Fog (Again)" is a short acoustic song (2:19), featuring Thom Yorke on vocals and piano. This version was recorded at an acoustic set, widely known as 'Le Reservoir', which Yorke and Jonny Greenwood did for the French-German TV station Arte. It was also featured in a third season episode of The O.C.. The original "Fog" appeared on 2001 single "Knives Out", in a 4/4 rather than 6/8 time signature, and as a mainly bass and percussion-driven song, in a style in keeping with their work of the Kid A/Amnesiac period.

The original version of the song, which runs 4:03 in length, features in the animated film adaptation of Philip K. Dick's A Scanner Darkly, along with other Radiohead songs, the B-side "The Amazing Sounds of Orgy" and "Skttrbrain (Four Tet RMX)". "Black Swan", from frontman Thom Yorke's album The Eraser, is also featured in the film, which was released in July 2006.[16]



  1. ^ "Radiohead post update on new album". 24 April 2007. Retrieved 5 June 2009. 
  2. ^ "Com Lag (2Plus2IsFive) EP set for re-release". 12 April 2007. Retrieved 5 June 2009. 
  3. ^ Chammas, Joe (18 April 2007). "Radiohead Reissue 'Com Lag (2+2=5)' EP". Retrieved 5 June 2009. 
  4. ^ Mason, Taylor (16 April 2007). "Radiohead Re–Release". Retrieved 5 June 2009. 
  5. ^ "For The Record: Quick News On Outkast, David Banner, Radiohead, Joey McIntyre, Metallica, Ruben Studdard & More". MTV. 11 February 2004. Retrieved 5 June 2009. 
  6. ^ Ott, Chris (24 April 2004). "Radiohead Com Lag EP Album review". Retrieved 24 June 2009. 
  7. ^ "UPDATED: Com Lag Recall After All?". 12 April 2004. Retrieved 5 June 2009. 
  8. ^ "Stanley: Com Lag Art Legit, New Coming Soon". Retrieved 5 June 2009. 
  9. ^ a b Allmusic review
  10. ^ a b Thornton, Anthony (12 September 2015). "Radiohead : Com Lag : 2+2=5". NME. Retrieved 3 September 2015. 
  11. ^ a b Pitchfork Media review
  12. ^ a b Downer, Adam (15 May 2006). "Radiohead - COM LAG (2plus2isfive) (staff review)". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 3 September 2015. 
  13. ^ Elbel, Jeff (1 June 2004). "Radiohead - Com Lag". Paste. Retrieved 3 September 2015. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ Com Lag: 2+2=5 - EP by Radiohead on Apple Music
  16. ^ "A Scanner Darkly – advance screening". 7 July 2006. Retrieved 5 June 2009. 

External links[edit]