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.
Tony Iommi is the riff master. That’s undeniable. Back in 2000 (There’s that damn year again), Tony released his first “solo” album featuring many guest vocalists like Phil Anselmo, Dave Grohl, Henry Rollins, Peter Steele, Ozzy, Billy Idol, Billy Corgan and a few others. There were a couple songs on the album that always stood out to me, the one with Phil and the one with Billy Corgan. The latter of which “Black Oblivion” is one of the coolest songs on the record and it’s pretty epic too. It’s also interesting to note too that, Billy and Tony wrote two songs for the album but, only one was picked. I know I’d be very interested to hear the other one.
Part of the fun of putting your iPod on random is just letting it play. This morning while on my way to work, a song came on that I hadn’t heard in a while. That song was “Anything” by Danzig from his unsung masterpiece that is Danzig III: How The Gods Kill. That song is truly one of the best songs in Danzig’s catalog. It’s a really well written song with great melody and riffs. Vocally it’s got a Jim Morrison vibe to it, something I really love (especially being a huge fan of The Doors). This is exactly the type of deep cut that every album needs and should be played live too. “Anything” is a very poetic song that at first comes across almost like a ballad but that is quickly tossed aside by one of the best guitar solos in a Danzig song ever, courtesy of John Christ. It’s also an interesting choice to place this song as track 2 on the album but, it’s perfectly placed to balance the ripping opener that is “Godless” and the follow up song “Bodies.” So, with all that in mind, take 5 minutes out of your day and let this song soak in!
Danzig- Anything (from Danzig III: How The Gods Kill):
I love this topic. It’s a lot of fun to showcase a song at a time that deserve their due. As I’m sure over time, you’ve all come to realize that Nine Inch Nails is my all time favorite band. Through the years, Trent has written some pretty amazing songs and a lot of them have never really gotten the attention the deserve. One such song I’d like to highlight is “Getting Smaller” from 2005’s With Teeth. I still remember hearing this song for the first time and thinking to myself, what a great song this is, and as time went on I kept thinking why wasn’t this song a single or a live staple. Something fun about this song is that the drums on this track were played by the one and only Dave Grohl. This song too, is one of the best songs on With Teeth. I truly hope that when Nine Inch Nails comes back around to touring again, this song makes the set list.
With the news of Rage Against The Machine returning, it’s gotten a lot of people excited. I’m excited but, I have my own apprehensions about it all (more on that to come later this week). That being said though, their final studio album, The Battle of Los Angeles has just passed the 20 year anniversary milestone. I remember buying the album the day it came out and being really stoked on it. Of course the singles like, “Guerilla Radio” and “Sleep Now In The Fire” are rad but, there is one song in particular on the album that has always stood out to me and since than, has become my favorite Rage Against The Machine song. I’m talking about “Ashes In The Fall.” It’s one hell of a great song and it’s chock full of great Tom Morello guitar moments. The dynamic shifts in the song too, are stellar. Everything about this song is perfect. Enjoy this song. I sure do hope they play this song live more often. The lyrics are beyond fitting in today’s society.
Rage Against The Machine- Ashes In The Fall:
There are certain bands that have way too often been overlooked. Planes Mistaken For Stars in one of them (look for a full piece on that coming soon). Through the bands career, they have been one of the best heavy rock bands around. They have the grit to go along with the piss and vinegar that makes heavy music something that is truly great. On their 2006 album Mercy, there is a song on that record called “To Spit A Sparrow” that is absolutely remarkable. It’s one of those songs that is distinctively akin to what this band is but, it also shows how great of songwriters they are.