Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My 10 Favorite Songs of All-Time: 7-4

It's at this point where more of my taste for the vitriolic and speedier side of indie/alt./post-punk rock comes in. I've never been one to fully enjoy slow or soft music. And these four songs prove it easily.

7. Becky - Be Your Own Pet

This song is instantly memorable for its lyrics; the story of a girl who's best friend turns on her, and faces the angry consequences. It's easily Jemina's best lyrical performance:

"Now I'm going to juvey for teenage homicide
It'll would've been cool if you stayed by my side
And you know that you wouldn't have had to die,
but now every single night I cry

If only what you wrote in my yearbook was true--
then I wouldn't be stuck in fucking cell block 2
But I don't regret what I've done,
'cuz in the end, it was fun!"

But what makes these lyrics great is, again, Jemina's perfect delivery. Which convinces you that Pearl has and will do just as she croons.

Mixed in with this is the wonderfully ironic 50s-60s kind of pop/doo-wop sound that the instrumentals provide, with a chorus that makes you jumpy and happy despite content that is, well, completely insane. It's the quintessential BYOP song.

6. D is for Dangerous - Arctic Monkeys

"D is for delightful
And try to keep your trousers on"

The tongue-in-cheek lyrics make this one a sing-a-long and a half. Not to mention the harmony/back and forth delivery of Alex Turner and drummer Matt Helders. But it also comes with a fantastic chorus and bassline that gives you a feeling of constant motion; like the musical manifestation of a person skating in zigzags for 3 minutes.

And it all melts into one another for a chorus/outro that's unforgettable. The stutter during the last chorus threw me off at first, but now I can't help but to head bang to it. And if you don't, you are soulless, and should probably end your life.

Okay don't. Just kill your dog.

5. Stockholm Syndrome - Muse

Quite the tragedy actually. Stockholm Syndrome used to be a perennial favorite; number one nearly every time I was asked. Unfortunately though, Alex Turner drowned it like Andrea Yates.

Still, it's Muse's masterpiece in my opinion; the perfect combination of Matt Bellamy's furious riff-making and orchestral sound, Dominic's creative and unique drumming, and Chris'...same ol' notes BUT IT'S STILL FANTASTIC. And the chorus, while slow, is instantly prolific once you hear "And this....is....the last time, I'll...FORRRRGEEEETTTTT YOOOOUUUU" How can you possibly not croon along with Matt? It strikes you somewhere deep in your chest and begs you to blow your lungs out singing to it.

And the outro is massive; metal-like, but not alienating in the slightest. It also works with the song perfectly. It's like a beautiful hulking giant of a song. And definitely Muse's magnum opus.

4. Brianstorm - Arctic Monkeys

The first time I heard this song, it reminded me of a drum cadence of some kind. Having been in a high school marching band for 4 years, I'm stupidly fond of anything that resembles that. And I've never heard any rock band make any attempt to infuse the grooves and hooks of a drum cadence in their song.

Whether or not this was intentional, AM certainly did it with Brianstorm. Of course, first and foremost, respect goes to Matt Helders

"Someone actually gave me acclaim?!?!"

He is probably the most underrated drummer of the past decade. In this song, he pulls off singing and 16th notes around the kit with precision and discipline, never missing a beat, and he constantly empowers the song's quiet moments and finishes without overwhelming the song with an unnecessary fill or an overly done roll. Probably Matt Helders' finest accomplishment here.

Oh shit. How could I forget. If Alex Turner makes a song, it's guaranteed the lyrics are worth hearing:

Top marks for not tryin'
So kind of you to bless us with your effortlessness
We're grateful and so strangely comforted

And I wonder are you puttin' us under
Cause we can't take our eyes off the t-shirt and ties combination
Well see you later, innovator"

Top that off with some of the smoothest bass fills at the beginning and particularly during the breakdown, and you've got the grooviest, most heart-pounding rock song I've heard, well, ever.

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