Nothing fills up my soul quite like some good rock songs. This goes for just about any sub-genre, too. Alternative rock, mathrock, soft rock, just flood my ears without mercy. While I’m going for more general rock with this list, don’t think I won’t have plenty more to satiate your rich, grinding tastes. Indie rock, pop-rock, psychedelic rock — you’ll have plenty to love over the coming Sharing The Goodness posts.
If rock isn’t quite your thing, check out my past Sharing The Goodness post where I looked at some alternative R&B and soul!
1. “Wolf Like Me” by TV On The Radio
I once had a Zune (remember those?) and it came with some songs pre-downloaded. I listened to each one out of curiosity, deleting and saving as I went, and ended up pretty damn stunned when I hit play on TV On The Radio‘s single, ‘Wolf Like Me’. Not only was it rock, one of my favorite genres of all time, but it was downright bombastic. Every single damn thing about this production simmers and you’re incredibly right that I’m going to gush about it.
I mean, where do you even go wrong with an incredible rock showcase revolving around the mythology of werewolves? The lyrics are right colorful with their almost unsettling depiction of the classic curse and how it can be both an invigorating and terrifying experience for both parties. Now, you could interpret the lyrics as a metaphor for something else…but fuck it. I finally get a song about werewolves (well, a good one) and I’m going to celebrate!
With utterly shredding backing vocals and one whirlwind of an outro that builds and builds and builds to a screaming crescendo, this song all but snatches you by the hand and leads you on a journey. You won’t regret this ride.
When the moon is round and full
Gotta bust that box, gotta gut that fish
2. “Staring At The Sun” by TV On The Radio
Double-feature time! There should be a genre for songs you listen to while speeding down a highway. I mean it. Just stick ‘Speeding Down The Interstate (But Still Wearing A Seatbelt And Obeying General Traffic Laws)’ on the drop-down list of every iPod. I know the emotions invoked in music varies for everyone (one person’s country is another person’s disco), but come on. This band is just too damn good at this!
TV On The Radio is always bringing something good to the table with their strong vocal work. You could give them the most generic melody on the planet and they’d somehow imbue it with enough personality and style to warrant a repeat. Thankfully, this song isn’t quite what I would call cliche. While not as dizzingly unique as ‘Wolf Like Me’, ‘Staring At The Sun’s fuzzy bass and high crooning rounds out the piece quite well. Even more interestingly, it feels like it’s building up to something yet never quite hits the final note you’re expecting. While this can prove frustrating for some listeners (we do live in the hard drop era, after all), I find the constant middle-ground this song straddles rather interesting.
Take a listen and decide for yourself. Just make sure you use your turn signal.
Cross the street from your storefront cemetery.
Hear me hailing from inside and realize
3. “Stick-Up Kids” by Bad Rabbits
My friend’s brother had their on their playlist in the car one time while we were driving around the neighborhood and I proceeded to spend a good five minutes frantically sifting through Google on my phone to find out who the artist was (what with it being a CD and all). It was then I stumbled upon an American rock band that’s been around for the better part of a decade, yet is still struggling to make a dent in the mainstream. With singles this strong, it truly is a wonder why they haven’t.
‘Stick-Up Kids’ is a fantastic hype anthem, hard-stepping and bold and eager to get your blood pumping. The chorus bounces between a vibrant chant and an addicting hook, a mixture of classic rock and a more funky kind that feels wonderfully old-school. On-and-off synthesizers in the background blended with stylistic stops-and-starts give this song oodles of personality and, frankly, I can’t get enough of it. I liked this the second I heard it and I don’t think I’m reaching when I say you will, too.
Hold up baby I’m just playin, let’s make progress
Both too grown to figure out who’s to blame
Hot damn, I feel like a ten year-old blistering in the Californian sun again. Getting serious 311 and Sublime vibes from this groovy, low-key rock song and that’s absolutely a good thing for me. Major shout-out to my friend for sending this to me a few months back, because now I want to shove it in the ears of everyone I know that even remotely likes reggae rock.
The melody echoes and fades. The instrumentation invokes images of washed-out deserts and bleached pavement, an incredible mood-setter that brings back the best of the 90’s and coastal cities. The lyrics speak to the weary and aware soul, someone who wants to wrangle down whatever peace they can find in tumultuous times. The singer talks about their favorite stereo, their family, their love of the open ocean and the beauty it provides. All in all, ponderous and chill stuff all around.
Everybody all they want is just a little bit of peace
That’s the reason that I’m chillin when I’m diving off the reef
There is a veritable treasure trove of goodness to be found in the Vocaloid community. For those unaware (at least, beyond the iconic blue-haired, pigtail’d mascot Hatsune Miku), Vocaloid is a music program popularized in Japan. Although it offers a full range of instruments, it’s most notable for being able to let its users tune virtual singers. The community has grown immensely over the years and provided music lovers with some of the most incredibly unique, polished and catchy songs around. While I plan on doing Vocaloid-exclusive features in the future, whet your appetite with this addicting pop-rock number.
With rollicking lyrical work, flowing vocals and a stylistically stop-and-start backing guitar riff, ‘Hey’ gives you the goodness straight off the bat. The instrumentation is incredibly polished and something that’d sound damn good on the stage, with a healthy foundation of snares and drums rounding out a classic set-up. Less really can be more and an otherwise plain song manages to stand out by simply doing every basic element darn well. I’m loving this single and am already eager to see what else nskw (ニシカワ) has to offer in the field of rock.
ねぇ それって楽しいの？(Hey, would you call that good?)
ねぇ それって楽しいの？(Hey, would you call that good?)
Like what you hear? Got any suggestions? Stay tuned for my next Sharing The Goodness where I’ll be dipping into ambient and instrumental!