Songs You Should Listen To Part Six
Sponge is one of the most underrated bands of the 1990's and Rotting Pinata (1994, Work )is an equally underrated album. This might be due to singer Vinnie Dombrowski's vocal similarities to The Stone Temple Pilot's Scott Weiland. Nonetheless, this post-grunge band wrote a ton of great songs with soaring guitars, anthemic drums and more hooks then pirate convention. The album was named after a statement by gross shock rocker G.G. Allin who claimed he would commit suicide while on tour. After this suicide, he wanted his corpse shown at the remainder of the shows on the schedule. He then wanted the fans to be able to throw objects at his deceased body. The band joked that if he did, the corpse would be like a "rotting pinata."
"To see wide open with a head that's broken/Hang a life on a tragedy/Plow me under the ground that covers the message that is the seed"
Bayside, "Devotion and Desire"
Sadly, what introduced me to Bayside initially was the death of drummer John "Beatz" Holohan while on tour in Wyoming. Bayside is basically a punk band with an emo-ish vibe and incredible musicianship. Guitarist John O'Shea is one of my favorites and he rips the solo in this song. Drummer Beatz grew up playing Hip hop in New York City and this hip hop influence is evident throughout this self titled album (2005, Victory). it's what sets this band apart. Bayside has gone on to release several albums, but none capture the raw intensity and urgency as this one does. Plus, they're named after Bayside High School, you know, the school where Zach Morris, A.C. Slater, Screech, Kelly, Jessie and Lisa all attended. It's a nice nod top my childhood and a nice nod to rock n roll.
"My mouth's shooting blanks/Situation's unbearable./I've gotten vulnerable/Now anyone is free to waltz right in/My temple's been invaded/and there's nobody guarding it."
Oasis was one of those great British bands that were made all the greater by their vices and angst. Brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher were known for their bouts of fisticuffs and one especially memorable moment had vocalist Liam storm away back stage, refuse to go on stage, get wicked drunk int he balcony and heckle the band while Noel took over lead vocal duties. They were a Heavily Beatles influenced brit rock band that, despite the simmering rage (or maybe because of) between the two brothers, created many smooth and tender ballads and classic late 90's anthems. Wonderwall , off of 1995's (What's the Story Morning) Glory? (Creation) is their best known and most timeless song. If you've heard it, chances are you love it. if you haven't heard it, listen and then love it.
"Backbeat the word is on the street/That the fire in your heart is out/I'm sure you've heard it all before/But you never really had a doubt"
Dr. Dre Feat. Eminem, "Forgot About Dre"
After doing NWA and The Chronic (Death Row, 1992) Andrea Romelle Young, aka Dr. Dre, moved his talents from behind the mic to the studio. He returned in 2001 with 2001 (Aftermath) with an album reminded the world that he was still here and he was till the toughest mother f*cker in show biz. This is the second song I've done in this series that features Eminem and, once again, his presence is an amazing contrast to the deep, rough voice of Dre. This song is a testament to Dr Dre's staying power and a reminder that he didn't go anyway. In fact, he helped shaped the genre of gangsta rap both on and off the stage. With this song, he makes sure that you don't forget!
"Who you think brought you the o' G's/Eazy-E's Ice Cube's and D.O.C's and Snoop D O double G's/And a group that said muthaf*ck the police/Gave you a tape full of dope beats/To bump when stroll through in your hood"
K's Choice, "I'm not an Addict"
it's odd. I hadn't heard this song in years yet for the past two weeks it's been stuck in my head. I remember really liking this song when it came out. Turns out I still do. They're from Antwerp, which is cool. They're still playing, which is cool. Sarah Bettens sounds like a breathy blues singer from the 30's with a rock n roll attitude, which is cool. The song is about denial, which is cool. The song came out in 1996, so right in the middle of high school for me, which is cool and, of course, the song is cool. Which is cool.
"It's not a habit, it's cool, I feel alive/If you don't have it you're on the other side/I'm not an addict (maybe that's a lie)."
Live, "Selling the Drama"
I've heard Live referred to as a cerebral band. This seems accurate. They arrived during the heyday of the grunge scene, but they're music is not grunge. They get lumped in with hard rock but, while they're music is certainly intense, they are not. they are perhaps a true alternative band. They're sophomore effort, Throwing Copper (1994, Radioactive) was produced by Jerry Harrison of the Talking Heads and is one of the best albums to come out in the 90's and was easily the best album that Live ever put out. (in fact, don't waste your time with their final album Songs From Black Mountain. It was a giant hunk of crap). This song, like the rest f the album, offer deep, mystical lyrics, nice hooks, driving bass riffs and insistent guitars. It's just a fantastic song from a fantastic band and a fantastic album.
"And to Christ: a cross/And to me: a chair/I will sit and earn the ransom from up here"
Book on Dimebag Darrell
What's lost in the tragic murder of Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell, who was murdered on stage by a deranged fan on December 8th, 2004, is just how frickin heavy Pantera was. Walk, off of Pantera's best and heaviest release, A Vulgar Display of Power (1992, Stco) has Pantera's typically abrasive thrash metal sounds, but is also seen as one of the purveyors of the groove metal sound. Walk is a heavy, fist pumping, wave your devil horns in the air, growl, get out your aggression type of song and is my number one song for curing a bad mood, or for wanting to get in a fight, or for wanting to drink shots and beer and then fight. "Are you talkin' to me?"
"Is there no standard anymore?/What it takes, who I am, where I've been/Belong/You can't be something you're not/Be yourself, by yourself/Stay away from me/A lesson learned in life/Known from the dawn of time"
The Prayer Chain, "Bendy Line"
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that you probably haven't heard the Prayer Chain and, if you have, you're probably a super awesome person. The Prayer Chain was one of the most original Christian alternative bands of the 90's. Many call them "the epitome of the Christian underground." Their creative angst ridden tunes were truly unique and the relationships between the band members and the band to the record labels and industry was tumultuous at best. Mercury (1995, Reunion) was their undisputed masterpiece and it has been said that you can hear the band breaking up on this record, which they did, shortly after it's release. The album as a whole is organic and earthy, moody and ethereal. It's also brilliant. Bendy Line was very controversial when it came out as it depicts the vocalist Tim Taber's desire to make love to his wife. it's beautifully lustful, like the rest of the album. My favorite song off of one of my favorite albums. Ever.
"Beg me please to claw/your summer salty warm grassy skin/should I ever hurt you badly/take your medicine, we'll make amends"
Chiodos, "Is It Progression if a Cannibal Uses a Fork?"
Chiodos is just a really cool band that writers really cool and intense songs with funny titles. They have two vocalists, or least used to before the face of the band, Craig Owens left the group in 2009. This song opens opens Bone Palace Ballet (Equal Vision, 2007) and really sets the stage with it's intense, hook laden, aggression. If you like heavy music that still has a melody, Chiodos is the band for you. If I was to create heavier music, I would want to rip off Chiodos.
"out of tune this tale of terror/the slow tolling of the funeral bell/I want to know whats going on in that/pretty little head of yours/everyday is a bone palace ballet"
Mana, "En El Muelle De San Blas"
Mana is one of the biggest rock bands in Mexico. They've released about 6 billion albums and they're still making passionate and engaging rock n roll. Even though they sing in Spanish, their music can appeal to all. Singer Fher sounds like a cross between Sammy Hagar and Sting and the music is just good straight ahead rock n roll. This tune tells the story of a woman waiting for her love to return from an ocean journey, waiting for him on the wharf every night. he never shows up. The video tells the story, but so does the heartfelt felt way it's sung and performed. I saw this band in concert in Las Vegas. i was the only white person there :0)
"Sola, sola, en el olvido/Sola, sola con su espíritu/Sola, sola con su amor el mar/Sola, en el muelle de San Blas"
My poetry collection
Thanks for Reading.
A FREELANCE WRITER, HONORS STUDENT AND GOVER PRIZE FINALIST, JUSTIN W. PRICE (AKA, PDXKARAOKEGUY)IS A POET, SHORT STORY, BIOGRAPHY AND HUMOR WRITER. HIS POETRY COLLECTION,DIGGING TO CHINA, WAS RELEASED FEBRUARY 2ND, 2013 BY SWEATSHOPPE PUBLICATIONS AND IS AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE AND THROUGH YOUR LOCAL BOOKSELLER.
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Keep Up With the Rest of the Series:
- Ten Songs You Should Listen To Part One
Need some new music to listen to, or want to wax nostalgic on some previously heard tunes? Here's ten suggestions!
- Ten Songs You Should Listen To Part Two
another selection of ten songs suggestions. Includes Elton John, Circa Survive, Aerosmith, and others.
- Ten Songs You Should Listen To Part Three
another installment of ten eclectic song suggestions. Features The Goo Goo Dolls, Blue Oyster Cult, Ray Charles, Death Cab for Cutie, Kings of Leon, Smashing Pumpkin, The Chariot, Nirvana, Poor Old Lu and Thrice.
- Ten Songs You Should Listen to Part Four
The fourth installment in a series highlighting ten songs you should download and listen to. features La Dispute, Dredg, Pearl Jam, Glassjaw, 2Pac, Glen Hansard, Gin Blossoms, Mumford & Sons, Further Seems Forever and Mae.
- Ten Songs You Should Listen To Part Five
Part Five in a series. This one features songs by The Doobie Brothers, Blind Melon, Billy Joel, Michael Jackson, Bread, Metallica, Stone Temple Pilots, Sublime, Seal and The Choir
- Songs You Should Listen To Part Seven
installment seven in an ongoing music review series. This one features songs Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians, Echo and the Bunnymen, Ryan Adams, Mayer Hawthorne, Muse, Anberlin, The Cure, Radiohead, Five Iron Frenzy and He is Legend