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Archive for the ‘2001’ Category

At The Drive-In were an incredibly influential band. More to the point, Cedric Bixler-Zavala is an incredibly influential songwriter. Unfortunately AT The Drive-In are no longer with us. However Bixler-Zavala and Omar Alfredo Rodríguez-López are still churning out similar tunes as members of The Mars Volta. But to get to the point; rarely are there bands that are able to express a political or current concern with such eloquence, but Bixler-Zavala’s songwriting prevails and intensely influential lyrics are made.

Invalid Litter Dept. was written about a series of murders in Cd. Juárez, Mexico, however, the song is written with such ambiguity it is very hard to determine the actual meaning of the song. The metaphors and wide vocabulary used in the writing adds another element entirely to the song. Then of course, the unorthodox yet alluring guitar work by Rodríguez-López adds yet another element to the song. The spoken word vocals, and the screaming near the end of the song show just how powerful, what is essentially, a spoken word track can be. There is so much raw power in the voice of Bixler-Zavala, and he draws the listener in so well that he can make you think you know all about the reasons behind this song.

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The reason this song did not make the countdown is mainly due to the fact that the best part of the song consists of only five beats of a drum and one loud yelp in the first 1.5 seconds of the song. To me, that is the best part. However, I also believe it only acts as a precursor to the greatness of the rest of the song. Again, the vocals are so powerful and the chorus is among one of the best. But it’s the ferocity featured in this song that makes it so good. This sounds like a song that was written as a ballad, but at some point someone realised it should be sped up. It has a rushed feel which works to the advantage of the song. However, the only disadvantage of it being so fast is that it is over far too quickly.

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    When songs start with a punch in the face, you know they’re going to be good. In this instance, the pounding beat that starts off this song serves as one motherload of a punch in the face. Depeche Mode have a history of making abrasive music that still manages to maintain it’s  alternative pop edge. In the case of I Feel Loved, there is a very similar tone to one of Depeche Mode’s best known songs; Personal Jesus. This makes me wonder whether or not the band has actually attempted to re-create what is already a fantastic song. Well, in my opinion, that’s a great thing. When you have a song that managed to influence such great names as Johnny Cash, and then make a song that sounds remarkably similar, you have no doubt created a winner.

    I Feel Loved starts with a thumping bassline that hides a light, but very beautiful melody. The vocals too have a very strong presence in the song that are only enhanced by the melody and bassline. The message of the song appears to be a sarcastic take on addiction and the breaking of an addiction, whereby only the drugs continue to make an addict ‘feel loved.’ Regardless, the song is still fantastically upbeat and manages to make a slightly taboo topic seem almost sexy in the way that the song manages to make use of the instrumentation to initiate great, sensual music

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