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TurboGrafx Network • View topic - Every forum needs a music thread...

Every forum needs a music thread...

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Every forum needs a music thread...

Postby runinruder » Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:37 am

You know, a "what have you been listening to?" sort of thing.

For me lately, it's been all Rush, the best thing to come out of Canada aside from Black Tiger's Tengai Makyou FAQs. After twenty years of disregarding the great music because I was way too cool to listen to a band led by a singer with such an absurdly high-pitched voice, I finally opened myself up to their sound, and I've found so many songs to love it's ridiculous. I've been digging almost all their material lately--live stuff, studio stuff, you name it--but I'm particularly fond of the Caress of Steel album (the one everyone seems to hate), especially the two epics on it. Jacob's Ladder is another favorite tune. I broke out my guitar a few days ago just to jam on a little Limelight--really fun main riff and the way the solo ends is so cool.
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Re: Every forum needs a music thread...

Postby guts » Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:25 pm

I got through phases with Rush where I love their later stuff, then can't stand it. I'll always love their really early stuff (Working Man is my favorite song ever by them), but they got so gay later on that the line between horrible and awesome with them is razor thin. His lyrics don't help matters either most of the time as they're fucking absurd. Actually now that I think about it, his lyrics are my main problem with the band; that one song about riding in an old car in the future is so impossibly fucking stupid that I really have to be in a certain mood to not get irritated by the horrible, horrible lyrics. Their music is great though, I think that's why I prefer their earlier stuff as they hadn't discovered the keyboard yet and his lyrics were still in the realm of sanity.

Personally all I've really listened to for ages is dance-pop and electronica with the usual favorites like Chevelle and Amon Amarth mixed in. Get more excited about a new Ke$ha album anymore than I do any rock stuff, however disgusting that is to music snobs. I just realized I don't give a fuck what people think about what I listen to anymore so I just got with whatever rubs my brain's dong the right way without caring really who it is. Hell I even like a couple Justin Beiber songs, as disturbing as that might be to those with musical pretensions.
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Re: Every forum needs a music thread...

Postby runinruder » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:18 am

Even though I love Red Barchetta, your rip on it really cracked me up. :D

Yeah, as Nat can tell you, I've been very critical of the lyrics myself. Gradually, though, I've come to find something quaint about a lot of the silly/fantastical tunes. And I have to admit that I really enjoy many of the "ridiculous story" songs. I like how they crafted an epic about two goofy characters (evil By-Tor and the valiant snow dog) having a big battle, and then they had By-Tor come back as a good guy on the next album for another epic in which he defeats a necromancer. It's all utterly absurd, but it's fun at the same time.

Of course, they push the silliness to points where they're really running the risk of going too far (e.g., The Trees). But what I found even more annoying when I had issues with the lyrics were the more-serious songs where Peart acts like he's making some sort of amazing observation even though there's nothing really profound or original about his statements. But now, as long as it all sounds good, I'm generally okay with it.

I like a lot of their keyboard-heavy material. Subdivisions and Distant Early Warning, just to name a couple, are really rockin' songs. But I can certainly understand how people could feel that they eventually went too far with the synthesizer stuff.

And I hear you about pop stuff. For quite a while before I started listening to a lot of Rush I'd just flip through radio stations and if I found something catchy, I was happy to listen to it.
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Re: Every forum needs a music thread...

Postby guts » Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:39 pm

What's that song with the line about cop cars? Was that Test for Echo? That's a good example of one of their songs that pisses me off when I actually pay attention to the lyrics, but I dig anyway. I used to have that Rush double disc with their singles on it, and I actually really loved the first disc, it wasn't until the second disc that his horrible lyrics really start to grate on your nerves. I know exactly what you mean about the serious shit where he thinks you're going to be BLOWN AWAY by his super-cereal lyrics but the reality is you're like dude, I think Raffi makes more poignant observations about the ills of the world.

You like As I Lay Dying, right? They've been one of my faves since like 2006-7 or so; man they fucking rock. I'm a huge sucker for any metal band that has dual leads and can throw out sweet double-harmonies and non-buttrock solos and has the singer(s) mixing up regular singing & screaming or growling. Bullet for My Valentine's first album is probably one of my all time favorites for that reason.

Also, man I'm STILL listening to Finch's first album like 10 years later, I'd place it in my top 5 favorite albums of all time. It's about as perfect as you could possibly get. They pretty much ignited my love of the dual-leads, metal drums, and screaming/singing style.
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Re: Every forum needs a music thread...

Postby runinruder » Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:04 pm

guts wrote:What's that song with the line about cop cars? Was that Test for Echo? That's a good example of one of their songs that pisses me off when I actually pay attention to the lyrics, but I dig anyway.


Haha, yeah, that's Test for Echo. Nice vocal melodies, great guitar work, and dumb-as-hell lyrics. Some of the lines I'm unable to block out in that song remind me of Tool's equally awful Vicarious lyrics. Speaking of which, Tool delivered a lot of junk lyrics on their last album, which is sad, because they were great lyricists back in the Undertow days.

You like As I Lay Dying, right? They've been one of my faves since like 2006-7 or so; man they fucking rock.



I don't think I've ever heard anything by them. I'll try to check them out!

I'm a huge sucker for any metal band that has the singer(s) mixing up regular singing & screaming or growling.


That can be really effective when it's done well. The Chevelle guy is good at it. Too many bands don't do it well. It's like Slipknot got kind of big, so all of a sudden there are loads of lame bands that have singers who sing normally for a while and then start growling for no apparent reason. They all pretty much sound the same and they all pretty much suck. The Chevelle guy is good at it because there's usually an actual point to his transitions (they work well dynamically and suit the lyrics really well) and he doesn't sound like all the cookie-cutter growlers out there these days.
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Re: Every forum needs a music thread...

Postby nat » Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:35 am

You know, I've gotta chime in with all this growl/sing/growl talk. You know the first guy to ever do that [well], was Mike Patton in Faith No More. If you're not really familiar with Faith No More, you probably at least know one song, Epic, which is such a poor example of what the band actually sounds like I've heard some people say they were just trying to rip off the Chili Peppers. At this point I just laugh, because Anthony Kiedis doesn't have 1/4 of Patton's vocal talent, and Epic hit it big a full two years before the Chili Peppers were anything more than a glorified garage band. Not only this, but the rest of their catalog is such the antithesis of Epic, it's hard to listen to the song in restrospect and not feel it was almost supposed to be some sort of joke.

If that's all you've ever heard of them, I implore you to check them out further. They released two really experimental albums in the 90s (that were completely and totally different from each other, by the way), "Angel Dust" and "King for a Day, Fool For a Lifetime." You won't find Epic or any such nonsense on either of these albums, but the music is pure brilliance. They released one more far less experimental album, "Album of the Year" that is also extremely solid before breaking up in 1998. I'd avoid their first three albums right off the bat (We Care a Lot, Introduce Yourself, and The Real Thing) as this is their least accessible stuff; Patton was in his teens, the vocals weren't half as dynamic, and a lot of the music is pretty dated. I eventually got into the early stuff, but not after a long courtship with "Angel Dust" as a teenager. Those last three albums (alongside a few select tracks from the early discs) have been a mainstay of my music rotation for over 15 years (hard to believe it's been that long). Between Angel Dust and King for Day they must cover damn near 20 different genres of music, although there is a recurring "heavy" theme to a lot of it. Having said that, don't write them off if you listen to a track or two and don't dig any of it. Really dig deep; you'll have a hard time believing a lot of it is the same band, not to mention the same singer.

Unfortunately, I'd be hard-pressed to recommend any specific tracks to start with as I'd be afraid I'd pick ones you guys didn't like and it'd ruin the whole first-impression experience, given that they're all so different. I'll just say that "Angel Dust" ranks somewhere in my top 5 best albums of all-time, and I believe each and every track is pure gold. Something interesting on that note, the opening track, "Land of Sunshine," had lyrics written entirely by piecing together fortunes from fortune cookies and catch phrases from self-help infomercials. This probably sounds pretty goofy, but the result is brilliant.

I've strayed a bit here, but my point really was Patton was one of the first (THE first, that I'm aware of) to do the growl/sing switch effectively. His vocal range is incredible. You may have heard him, unknowingly, as he's provided the creature growls and screams to many video games and movies. I know he did all the zombie noises in I Am Legend, for example.
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Re: Every forum needs a music thread...

Postby Black Tiger » Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:54 am

I'm no popular music expert, but Rob Halford has been mixing up regular singing & screaming or growling effectively (in my unqualified opinion) since at least the early 80's.

I love the self-titled Mr. Bungle album.
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Re: Every forum needs a music thread...

Postby guts » Thu Nov 24, 2011 6:13 am

Halford fucking rules. Judas Priest is definitely so badass and one of the few metal bands from the 80s/early 90s I can listen to in a non-ironic way (Megadeth being another).

Nat, I actually had one of Faith No More's albums back in the 90s-- I think it was Album of the Year-- which I really liked except for a few clunkers. I had a friend who was a huge FNM fan and used to get as pissed when Epic came on the radio as I did, although I was just pissed because the song is fucking awful. He was pissed because of basically exactly what you said and also because he considered Epic to be some sort of weird sell-out song or something (I never really understood why since the song sucked and nobody I knew liked it, if anything it was more experimental than anything else on the radio at the time).

Also, when I'm talking singing/screaming, I'm talking like Finch or Bullet For My Valentine. Those guys are fucking amazing. The Chevelle singer is one of my favorite vocalists of all time, but he's a bit different as he uses the screaming more sparingly like you said and has a greater vocal range than most rock singers when singing normally. Love that guy.
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