Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Towards a Loud Rocking Playlist

I went off the drink for a few months last year, more to ultimately reacquaint myself with the pleasures of drinking than for any health reasons. Apart from losing six kilos in weight - the dessert per day I felt compelled to eat to compensate for the lost sugars seemed to have no effect - the most remarkable consequence was that I spent most of my time listening to quiet, acoustic guitar music. The soundtrack to my everyday life was provided by Nick Drake, Devendra Bahart, Sufjan Stevens, Vashti Bunyan, Planxty, early Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and others. I still listen to those but I have unconsciously reverted to loud-music mode; just as US soldiers prime themselves for 'battle' with blasts of Metallica and AC/DC I limber up for a night on the tiles with Death From Above 1979 (pictured) cranked up on my iPod. Here's a preliminary aggressive playlist; feel free to make any further suggestions:

  • 'Romantic Rights' - Death From Above 1979. A feral but perfectly danceable slab of metal disco. Best bit: when the sampled bleeps kick in in the second verse to the lines: 'South Carolina kid is heating things up/His wounds are bleeding and we're filling the cup.'
  • 'Konnichiba' - Shonen Knife. You could call it bubblegum pop if the main riff wasn't so fearsome. One of Kurt Cobain's favourite bands and underappreciated in their later-80s/early-90s heyday.
  • 'Pig' - Sparklehorse. The rest of the album 'Good Morning Spider' is more appropriate listening for the non-drinking Seanachie, and 'Pig' starts off as such, before getting very loud and hard. Best line: 'I want to be a tough-skinned bitch but I don't know how.'
  • 'Punch Me Harder' - Superchunk. I have to be honest: I haven't heard this song since I was 18 but I plan to track it down. The title says it all, from North Carolina, like the normally-placid Mark Linkous and Sparklehorse.
  • 'Baudelaire' - ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead. From the album 'Source, Tags and Codes'. Loud, fast and aggressive. The Trail of Dead often sound a bit too much like a hard-rock Ben Folds Five for my liking but this track is the real deal.
  • 'Main Offender' - The Hives. You could have any Hives track on here, but the opening power chords on 'Main Offender' give it extra strength.
  • 'Fell in Love With a Girl' - The White Stripes. Again, Meg and Jack White could furnish an entire playlist of this sort on their own. This is merely the first and the fastest that springs to mind.
  • 'At 1am' - The Subways. Teeny-rockers The Subways aren't much cop but this early demo (that reappears as a hidden track on their debut album 'Young for Eternity') is a creditable stab at dirty garage.
  • 'Deathfall Priest' - The Jimmy Cake. Dublin arty types (and former denizens of Trinity College's JCR) are another band that more often play relaxed music. This cacophonous mix of accordions, brass, banjos and buzzsaw guitars is something different.
  • 'Annalisa' - Public Image Ltd. PiL's debut album is one of the great underrated records of all time and was influencing bands long before The Rapture and Franz Ferdinand had even heard of Gang of Four. Jah Wobble's thumping bass, Keith Levene's neighbour-from-hell guitar riff and John Lydon just wails. I'm sure there's melody in there somewhere.
  • 'Where Damage Isn't Already Done' - The Radio Dept. Swedish shoegazers get all rocky for once and everything is perfect. Rumbling bass, tin-pot drums, guitar lick the Valentines would be proud of.
  • 'Sucker' - Peaches. You could also choose 'Rock Show' from the mad Canadian's debut album but it sounds a bit prissy compared to this.
  • 'English Civil War' - The Clash. Many people don't like the Sandy Perlman-produced second album 'Give 'em Enough Rope' (it didn't even merit a mention in Julien Temple's Joe Strummer film) but a bit of distance from punk is helpful in recognising it for the impressive straight rock album that is. This cover of the old traditional ballad is damn good.
  • 'Gay Bar' - Electric Six. No seriously. It's all very inane but as hilarious as the best of the Farrelly brothers. Let's start a nuclear war...
  • 'Loose' - The Stooges. From 'Fun House'. I'm breaking the rules here as it has a bit too much of a bluesy swagger to be eligible. But I can't help smiling when I hear Iggy sings 'I'll stick it deep inside you/Because I'm loose'.
  • 'Melo do Vitiligo' - Bonde do Rolê. The Brazilians' Baile funk reworking of AC/DC's 'You Shook Me All Night Long' is not on the debut album 'Bonde do Rolê With Lasers' but is worth looking out for.
  • 'Everything's on TV - The Hellacopters. The side project of members of Swedish metal groups Entombed and Backyard Babies might be a bit mellow in comparison to their day-job and no less cheesy but sometimes you just crave a good polished, unselfconscious guitar riff. Innocence is bliss.


blaithin said...

Why not try some Blackstrobe for a bit o' filth


I'm a Man Radio Edit and Pins and Needles should get you going. Saw them playing live at the weekend, thankfully, we were covered from head to toe in mud,fitting to say the least!

Seán Báite said...

Be mad enough to give up de drink !!! Fuck no ! - has to be 24 hr Fall / Big Black and pissy French supermarket lager... (especially as the temperatures have started cranking up down here).. Ta for the warning though, I'll get all my Richard Thompson CDs out in the recycle bag the morro'

seanachie said...

I had intended putting in The Fall's 'Blindness' from the Fall Heads Roll album but forgot by the end of the post. May as well nominate Big Black's 'Texas'too. And I also forgot 'Rock Music' by the Pixies, off Bossanova, probably the scariest rock song ever written. Hold onto Richard Thompson, you never know when you might need him.