Monday, February 15, 2016

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #61

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week is a feature I run on Young Ears, Fresh Perspective on Sundays/early hours of Monday morning where I pick out 5 tunes that I think are notable and tell you a bit about them. The point is to give you some rocking music to help you deal with your weekday blues. You can either listen to one each day, listen to them all at once, or any other combination that you feel. As long as you can get through the week without the man getting you down, that's all I care about. Without further ado, here are the 5 tracks I've picked out for this week:

1. Hotter Than Hell, by Kiss

Haven't heard this tune on the radio? No real surprise, but you're missing out if you haven't listened to it before. With a catchy vocal melody, a grooving guitar riff, and overall flamboyance it probably could have done a lot better in the charts when it first came out if it had better production quality and better promotion. The contrast between Paul Stanley's vocals on the verses and Gene Simmons's on the chorus definitely hits the ear drums in just the right way.

2. When the Lights Go Out, by The Black Keys

This is one of those blues tunes that drones on and on for the entire length of the tune, but in this instance it works to the song's advantage. It's something you can find yourself getting lost in the groove of if you let it envelope you the right way. It's a delightful marriage of acoustic and electric guitars backed by the most primal pounding drums. Add a layer of soulful vocals and you've got a primo blues song.

3.  Gallows Pole, by Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin doing bluegrass? What's next? Even though this isn't exactly the first thing that one might think of when they think of Led Zeppelin, Gallows Pole kicks ass nonetheless. That banjo picking is some of the most sweet playing I've heard from anyone. Just goes to show you how valuable a player bassist/multi-instrumentalist John Paul Jones really was to the band. Such an under rated musician if you ask me.

4.  Trash, by The New York Dolls

This is probably one of the most punk rock songs that the New York Dolls ever wrote. You can definitely hear the elements that punk would take from it and use to forge its own path in various ways a few years later on down the line, especially in the chord progression. As much of a rock n' roll ruckus as the song is though, it has quite a lovely synth melody playing in the background. You wouldn't think it would work out that well, but it actually does. Listen for yourself.

5. Sweet Freedom, by Uriah Heep

This has to be one of the most compassionate break-up songs I have ever heard. Lyrically it just paints the picture of what a decent person would say in such a situation. To make things better the organ playing is absolutely beautiful and the chorus harmonies are a delight as well. Naturally the guitar playing brings up the rear, though that never quite was what Uriah Heep was all about. Nonetheless, it's one of the band's most epic tunes.


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