Over the past week or so, I’ve gone through a deep dive of all the Slipknot albums. Throughout my listening extravaganza, I came to realize that if I had to pick a favorite Slipknot song it would most definitely be “Gently” from their second album, Iowa. This is one of those songs that packs so much into it yet, it’s a very minimalist song. It’s one of the songs in their catalog that is experimental yet totally makes sense. When put into the context of the sequence of the album on Iowa, “Gently” not only acts as a perfect transition piece of shifting the album into even darker territory. Something else that is quite interesting about this song is that it dates back to the very first Slipknot release, Mate Feed Kill Repeat. This is one song that I wish they would play more live. And now, “Gently.”
The first Metallica album I ever heard was And Justice For All and from that point I was hooked. I was only 4 at the time but, it all made so much sense to me. Throughout the years of me listening to the album, I’ve come to love certain songs a ton. One of which is “Dyers Eve.” The songs lyrics is a rant from Hetfield to his parents and it’s such a poignant rant too. Musically, this song rips. It’s a “thrashterpiece” of epic proportions. Interestingly too, this song was debuted live in 2004, sixteen years after it was recorded, at a show in Los Angeles during the bands 2004 Madly In Anger With The World Tour. Also, as an album closer, what a way to end it on.
Metallica’s “Black Album” has so many hit songs it’s not even funny. Even with all those, there’s still some other gems that are often overlooked like this deep cut, “The God That Failed.” This song has an interesting story behind it as it’s based on James Hetfield’s experience with his mother’s death and her beliefs in Christian Science to rid her of the cancer that was killing her. This isn’t the first song nor the last to touch on this subject in the Metallica catalog. Another interesting fact about the song is that, this song was never released as a single, but was the first of the album’s songs to be heard by the public. “The God That Failed” has been played live over 100 times since the release of the “Black Album.”
The times we are living in at the moment are pretty interesting. It’s a series of uncertainties and possibilities that could go one way or another. One thing that I’ve found to be very captivating is that so many things from the past have come back full circle or have been sort of prophesied. Which brings me to today’s song. Back in 2007, The Smashing Pumpkins reformed with Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin to make an album that really saw ahead into the future. The album is Zeitgeist and when you sit and listen and follow along to the words, you start to see so many things mentioned in those songs coming to life today. One song in particular, “United States” is so perfect for right now. It’s really interesting to listen to this album in the world today and see how it all came true.
I really love going back through albums at different points in time and connecting with songs that I might have not had that connection with at first. On Nine Inch Nails debut album Pretty Hate Machine, there is one song in particular that stood out on my most recent listen. “That’s What I Get” is that song and the more I listen to it now, I hear so many different things in it. This song has an interesting history too. The song was not originally intended to the be on the album, but was rather meant for b-side material, due to not fitting in lyrically with the rest of the songs. Which makes total sense. This track also harks back to “Down In It” based on the use of the same recognizable melodic synth voice. Also, it sort of feels like a precursor to some of the songs on The Fragile in a strange way. When you listen to it and hone in on the verses musically along with the “hammer” synth bassline, there is some of that on songs like “The Mark Has Been Made,” “The Way Out Is Through.” Either way, this song is a great deep cut in the Nine Inch Nails catalog to sink your teeth into.
One of the best things about putting your iPod on random is the ability to rediscover songs you forgot about. The other day while driving home from hanging out with a friend, a song came on that was perfect for the drive. Thrice has long been a favorite band of mine since I first heard The Illusion Of Safety. The song that hit me was “The Flame Deluge” from their Alchemy Index, Fire album. This song is the closing track on that part. It’s quite a beautiful song, and it channels some really cool influences from the likes of Isis and Pelican (which isn’t a surprise since Thrice has toured and played shows with them through the years). I’d personally love it if one day at a show of their that I’m at, they played this one. It would be quite an epic one for sure.
Today marks 3 years since the passing of Chris Cornell, I thought why not celebrate him with some really awesome deep cuts from Soundgarden’s catalog. I’m sure we are all at the point where we’ve heard “Black Hole Sun” and a few others enough times now. So, this will be fun to explore.
I love Alice In Chains. Anyone that knows me, knows that I can’t get enough of this band. If you are in my car with me and I have my iPod on random and an Alice song comes on, chances are, it’s going to get quite loud and I might start singing along. And also the chances of me having Alice on in general (or Nine Inch Nails) is quite high. That being said, I’ve been loving the fact that my (three year old) daughter seems to have taken quite a liking to Alice In Chains. I put music on for her when she’s in bed and going to sleep. The other night while laying with her, we were listening to some Alice and the song “Acid Bubble” from their album Black Gives Way To Blue came on and for some reason, I payed extra close attention to it that night and really found a new appreciation for that song. As a deep cut on the album, it’s quite exquisite. It’s very classic Alice sounding but, also modern enough to show the evolution of the band. In addition to that, it’s got some very classic harmonies and when William DuVall gets his moment to shine, oh does he. Anyways, dig into this gem of a track.
Back in 2004, when The Dillinger Escape Plan released their second album, Miss Machine, it saw the band move in a more experimental direction. Due to the band previously collaborating with Mike Patton and welcoming in new singer Greg Puciato, the influences from both began to rub off on the band. While Calculating Infinity was a straight up assault, Miss Machine had something more to offer like slower tempos, more dynamics, clean vocals, as well as an electronic/industrial tinge and jazz fusion elements. One such song that has always caught my attention on the album is the track “Phone Home.” This song has a very Nine Inch Nails feel to it. Which is perhaps why I’ve always been drawn to it. Take a couple mins and enjoy this deep cut from one of the most creative bands of the last 20 years.
There are always certain songs on albums that stand out. Obviously some more than others. When you put on an album, and it hits you, that moment of clarity just feels so warm and inviting. Every time I put on the Jawbreaker album, 24 Hour Revenge Therapy, I find something else to love about it even more. Lately, the song “Ache” has really been a go to song for me when I put that album on. It’s such a great song and as a deep cut on the album, it’s truly a standout. Both musically and lyrically, it’s a great example of the dynamic depth of what Jawbreaker is so good at.