Songs You May Have Missed #647

Jackyl: “My Moonshine Kicks Your Cocaine’s Ass” (2010)

Jackyl, who debuted in 1992, missed the heyday of hairband metal, but nevertheless earned distinction on several fronts.

First, their signature hit “The Lumberjack” made use of a chainsaw as a lead instrument (Jesse James Dupree’s solo is rather amazing) and featured lyrics that would make AC/DC proud and your mom blush:

I ain’t jacked my lumber, baby

Since my chain saw you

The band also holds two spots in the Guinness Book of World Records, one for playing 100 concerts in 50 days and another for playing 21 concerts in a 24-hour period.

As of 2020 the band still tours.

Songs You May Have Missed #646

Foreigner: “Starrider” (1977)

From Foreigner’s first, eponymous LP which, like that of Boston the previous year, helped well-crafted rock music–arena rock, if you will–stem the rising tide of punk and disco.

It was acts like Foreigner, Boston and Tom Petty that held the line for rock on the shifting musical landscape of the second half of the 70’s amid the raw, elemental anger of punk and the mostly vacuous lyrical thrust of disco.

“Corporate rock” took a contemporaneous critical beating, but its polish and professionalism were inarguable and the music continues to make new fans even today among kids who want an alternative to mumble rap, EDM and “bro country”.

Having said that, “Starrider” isn’t a typical Foreigner tune. While classic rock staples like “Feels Like the First Time” and “Cold as Ice” anchored the band’s debut, “Starrider”, with its harpsichord, synths, spacey effects and flanger-tinged drum propulsion, is a detour of light years from their typically guitar-and-hormone fueled and decidedly earthbound template.

I think it’s far out.

Songs You May Have Missed #645

Muse: “Unintended” (1999)

From their debut album, which didn’t chart in the States. Thus, American listeners mostly missed out on the band the English press were comparing to Radiohead until “Uprising” landed them on modern rock radio a decade later.

And yes, there’s definitely a Thom Yorke-ish quality to Matthew Bellamy’s vocals.

See also: https://edcyphers.com/2012/11/09/songs-you-may-have-missed-217/

Songs You May Have Missed #644

Ghost: “Square Hammer” (2016)

Are you one of those who opine that rock is dead, and the visceral thrill of the genre has faded with the hair on the head of your favorite Rock Hall-enshrined dinosaurs?

Maybe you just need to look a little more earnestly.

Although this certainly isn’t 1975 and the pop landscape isn’t crowded with acts like Queen, Led Zeppelin and Grand Funk, there is still music being created that can make the hair stand up on your arms.

For example, that of Sweden’s masked melodic metallers Ghost.

Though their occult music videos may go further than fans of Alice Cooper and Blue Oyster Cult may be comfortable with, Ghost’s brand of macabre, melodic rock may strike the right note. From the insistent organ riff to the two-beat timpani accent accompanying the verse’s lyric to a harmony-stacked chorus you may have stuck in your head for days, the hooks abound on “Square Hammer”.

PHOTO COPYRIGHT JOHN McMURTRIE 2015

Songs You May Have Missed #643

Radio Free Universe: “She’s High Again” (2019)

It remains to be seen (or heard) whether Radio Free Universe will have the staying power or make a similar impact in America as the classic rock bands their reviewers name check.

But in the bass-driven, melodic “She’s High Again” the Canadian rockers have crafted a single that deserves some southern exposure.

Songs You May Have Missed #642

Hollywood Vampires: “Welcome to Bushwackers” (2019)

Hollywood Vampires are an Alice Cooper-fronted side project that also features Joe Perry and Johnny Depp.

Their first album’s guest list reads like a debauched Hollywood rock ‘n roll party, which in a sense it was. Paul McCartney, Slash, Joe Walsh, Robby Krieger, Kip Winger, Dave Grohl, Perry Farrell and Brian Johnson all contributed to an album that mainly featured covers from the days when Cooper stalked SoCal with another group of musicians, also dubbed the Hollywood Vampires. That merry band included John Lennon, Harry Nilsson, Keith Moon, Ringo Starr and Mickey Dolenz and their antics were legendary, as you might expect from any merry band containing two drummers.

This Hollywood Vampires is an actual band, and not only do they rock, but they’re aptly named. Alice of course is the king of theatrical rock. And though Johnny Depp might not be a name that would come to mind if you were forming a supergroup, his own theatrical tendencies actually make sense in the context of a band fronted by a guy whose best work always conjured a visual element.

“Welcome to Bushwackers”, from their second release, features yet another guest superstar, Jeff Beck.

Songs You May Have Missed #641

Lily Allen: “Littlest Things” (2007)

Lily Allen can be sassy, bratty, clever and poignant–often all at the same time. “Littlest Things” is a look at how the ordinary moments and mundane memories can take on a rosy hue from the perspective of a relationship’s end:

Sometimes I find myself sittin’ back and reminiscing
Especially when I have to watch other people kissin’
And I remember when you started callin’ me your Mrs.
All the play fightin’, all the flirtatious disses
I’d tell you sad stories about my childhood
I don’t know why I trusted you but I knew that I could
We’d spend the whole weekend lying in our own dirt
I was just so happy in your boxers and your t-shirt

Dreams, dreams
Of when we had just started things
Dreams of you and me
It seems, it seems
That I can’t shake those memories
I wonder if you have the same dreams too.

The littlest things that take me there
I know it sounds lame but its so true
I know its not right, but it seems unfair
The things are reminding me of you
Sometimes I wish we could just pretend
Even if for only one weekend
So come on, tell me
Is this the end?

Drinkin’ tea in bed
Watching dvd’s
When I discovered all your dirty grotty magazines
You’d take me out shopping and all we’d buy is trainers
As if we ever needed anything to entertain us
The first time that you introduced me to your friends
And you could tell that I was nervous, so you held my hand
When I was feeling down, you made that face you do
No one in the world who could replace you

Dreams, dreams
Of when we had just started things
Dreams of me and you
It seems, it seems
That I can’t shake those memories
I wonder if you feel the same way too

The littlest things that take me there
I know it sounds lame but its so true
I know its not right, but it seems unfair
The things are reminding me of you
Sometimes I wish we could just pretend
Even if for only one weekend
So come on, tell me
Is this the end?

See also: https://edcyphers.com/2012/08/17/songs-you-may-have-missed-167/

See also: https://edcyphers.com/2013/11/28/songs-you-may-have-missed-505/

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