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Archive for the ‘2005’ Category

There are many songs out there that follow the hard rock template of riffs, chorus, verse, riffs, more riffs and a killer ending. However, when you have bands like Karnivool (who I might add, seem to be the saviour of Australian rock and roll), they tend to change the formula into their own and make everything work for them. Roquefort is a perfect example of this. However, no one can quite be sure what the song means because, well quite frankly, the song is a series of metaphors that make it seem like the singer was a quite a fan of Alice In Wonderland. Regardless, this song still manages to deliver a knockout blow to any bands that act as imitators to the real rock and roll.

The vocals that Ian Kenny possesses are enough to make any fan of rock music jump for joy. Seriously, Kenny is one of Australia’s best vocalists at the moment, in fact he’s so good he’s singing for both Karnivool AND Birds Of Tokyo. But again, fantastic vocals, thundering bass and a deep-as-Jame-Earl-Jones’-voice guitar riff makes this song not only one of the best Australian rock tracks ever, but one of the best hard rock tracks to ever be recorded. Now all we have to do is make sure the entire world knows about these guys.

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Most songs show very differing approaches to the topic of suicide. Some songs deal with a sense of inevitability, some with a sense of hope, but very rarely is there a song that manages to address the topic with not only beauty, but a sense of understanding. Epicure’s Tightrope Walker is one of the most beautiful songs you will ever hear. The song revolves around a young girl who is clearly troubled and her male friend who believes that “she’s a tightrope walker and he’s the streets below”. However, the meaning of the song is far deeper than that. It deals with the fact that this girl is in a serious situation where she cannot be saved, despite the efforts of others and the willingness they show to ‘catch’ them as they fall.

The beauty of this song lies within the poetic, fragile lyrics that are delivered with such honesty and such dedication. The song has great instrumentation that manages to not overshadow the vocals and the meaning of the song. The acoustic guitar at the beginning is joined by string instruments after a verse before the rest of the band joins in to accompany with a jazz based backing. The appellant tone of the song features so much beauty that I cannot begin to describe how it makes ME feel. Yet, with brutally poetic lyrics such as “So put your arms down honey, this ain’t no execution, I was just watching you sleep” listener begins to see just how much the ‘lead character’ in this feels about the girl and the problems she is going through.
A beautifully stark song that deals with such troubling topics in such a delicate way.

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Most songs regarding a break up generally take 2 forms. The first is the typical “Oh baby, how did it end up like this? We were so good together?” Whereas the second is the just as typical “Go ahead, see if I care.” The latter of which generally features so many profanities that even 2 Live Crew would become jealous. However, rarely is there a song in which the singer tends to take the path of “I’m so over you, oh wait, no I’m not.” This song seems to be about a fellow who has recently come out of a relationship, and he is quite happy about it. His feelings towards his girl are fairly well presented in the title of the song since he, understandably, appears to love this woman less and less everyday.

But that, however, is not the case. Instead, this amazingly fun little ditty is actually a self-serving mantra to the fellow because he is not actually over her. Yes, that right. The singer appears to be fooling himself that he actually loves this woman less and less, and he will instead find love from his parents and girlfriend since “That’s enough love for me”. Since he has a girlfriend, we can only assume that he is unhappy and wants out. Other things included in his ‘personal mantra’ include lines such as “Everyday I love you less and less, I can’t believe once you and me did sex. It makes me sick to think of you undressed, since everyday I love you less and less.” These fantastic lyrics show the simplicity of both his thoughts and the style of lyrics needed to make an awesome song.

Despite the serious yet lighthearted message in the song, the song is musically very appealing. A simple riff at the beginning (and might I add that this riff is not only genius in terms of aural pleasure, but it is also genius in terms of “Why the hell didn’t I think of that?”) starts the song before another simple drum beat comes in prior to the simple lyrics. Essentially this song is a lesson in simplicity and how to make a top 10 single. I will be quite honest here, if I can make a song that is not only as simple as this song, but also manages to cram a very humourous and direct message into such easy lyrics, then I would be a happy person.

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Oh My God

I could swear that the Kaiser Chiefs were just taunting me with their first album. Not only are they able to cram such fantastic melodies and vocals into each song, but they are able to make lyrics that are so freakin’ simple and direct at the same time, but I digress. Oh My God was the first single from their debut album Employment in 2006 (I might also add, Employment is quite possibly the best name for a debut album ever), and the bands first ever single as well. The song begins with, again, simple lyrics and an inviting keyboard exercise before the stellar chorus. The confronting vocals shout the message of the song so directly and with such great vocal skill that I must admit I get shivers when I hear it, and if I get shivers from a song, it’s bloody good.

I Predict A Riot

This was the first Kaiser Chiefs song that I heard, and the second I heard it I was taken in by the ferocity and intensity that the band played with. I had never heard of them before, but when I heard this song I instantly heard as much of them as I could. I was in awe at the lyrics of the song (and the entire damn album! I mean come one! Stop writing lyrics that are so simple and leave some for the rest of us to write!) and the chorus. The voice in the chorus made me sit up and take notice. This song let me understand that it is not only what you say in a song, but how you say it. The chorus of this song is a perfect example of this, and every musician should follow this example when they write a song.

* Note: All of these songs contain the signature ‘rising yell’ that Ricky Wilson likes to use. I have one message for you Mr. Wilson; don’t. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. No offence, it’s a good technique, but there is such a thing as overkill. Although, the fact that I picked three songs here that use this technique says something. Disregard this, good work!

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How does one define Wolfmother? Well, if you were to raid your favourite underground music store and buy every single record they own of Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Kyuss, AC/DC, The Doors, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd AND The Who, placed it into a blender and burnt the remnants onto a CD, you would have Wolfmother’s debut album (and quite likely, every subsequent album). But regardless of the fact that Wolfmother are almost a direct copy of all of these bands, they have still manages to carve out their own individual niche in the international rock music scene.

Wolfmother’s debut album spawned international acclaim and a record breaking 6 positions in the Triple J Hottest 100, 2005. In said countdown, Mind’s Eye reached number 6, the band’s highest position for that year. It was also the 3rd most popular Australian song for the year, which means that the Australian public voted this as the 3rd best homegrown song behind the likes of Bernard Fanning and Ben Lee. But we’ll forgive them for voting for Ben Lee. Regardless, this song’s popularity was very well deserved for the great song that it is.

The song itself is quite clearly influenced by the like of Led Zeppelin, The Doors and even features a keyboard solo that is quite influenced by The Who. But despite these influences, Andrew Stockdale’s direct guitar work and vocals give the song, and rock music in general, a sound that has not been heard for a long time. While I generally find Andrew Stockdale to be quite pretentious (in fact I have recently dubbed him Ben Lee, Jr.), I have to give him full credit for the musicianship he portrays in this song. The song is also complemented by a fantastic film clip which draws much inspiration from Pink Floyd’s Live In Pompeii, and can be seen here. Such beautiful mastery of the guitar and the soaring vocals that prove that Wolfmother are in fact a rock band that will live on for decades. Not only as a good band, but as an influential band that will have helped defined future musicians.

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Apple Tree

This song can be described in one word; fun. This song is immense fun to listen to. What starts with distorted vocals turns into a fast moving rockabilly inspired jam that only scratches the surface of what these guys are capable of. This song reached position 16 than Mind’s Eye in the Triple J Hottest 100, 2005, proving that this song can also hold it’s own against other Wolfmother tracks and other international musicians (It’s quite noteworthy that this song was the 7th most popular Australian song and the 3rd wolfmother track in the top 20, behind Joker And The Thief at position 9. This also means that out of the top 9 Australian songs in the countdown, Wolfmother made up a 3rd). The only reason this song did not make my 100 is mainly because of the fact that Mind’s Eye was the first Wolmother song that I heard, and it therefore holds a special meaning for me.

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The Chemical Brothers have always been an incredible duo. Ever since their breakthrough hits such as Song To The Siren whilst still under the name The Dust Brothers in 1992, to Block Rockin’ Beats in 1997, they have always managed to deliver tight-as-hell beats and quite commonly, great vocals coming from samples or a guest vocalist. 2005’s Believe is no exception. The duo recruited Block Party’s Kele Okereke to perform lead vocals on the track (which, by the way, only consist of 4 different lines), and Okereke instantly adds in everything he has experienced with Bloc Party, giving this track a new age feel as well. The track’s driving rhythm starts the song and continues for 25 seconds before any sign of a change comes in. However, the change that does come eventually comes in the form of a bass/synth hook. As well as incorporating elements of funk guitar and ambient sounds, the song is fairly bland and repetitive. However, this repetition works to the advantage of The Chemical Brothers who utilise Okereke’s vocals to take the song to brave new places, all the while keeping the original Chemical Brothers sound that has remained a trademark for so many years.

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Do It Again

In 2007, The Chemical Brothers released their 6th album
We Are The Night. This album contained the track Do It Again. The track not only has an awesomely strange (albeit disturbing)  music video, but it has a similar hook to Believe. Theoretically, there is not much difference between the 2 songs. However, this only achieved 2nd place due to the fact that I suffer from the ‘condition’ of disliking songs when they get popular. The stigma attached to such songs is too much to deal with for me. But the reason I get so passionate about this is because it leaves much better songs to be forgotten. While it was popular at the time, and is undoubtedly still a commonly known track, Believe was forgotten by many people when Do It Again was released. So in order to give this track the respect it deserves, Believe is number 1, and Do It Again makes 2nd place.

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