Monday, September 05, 2016

Is This What You Kids Mean By "Drop The Bass"?

Geoff Trainor

While I am still trying to figure out exactly how I want to go about this Mocking comeback I figure can just take the lazy road. How is that you ask? LISTS! That's right, it's time for a top ten. This is an idea I actually had while listening to the radio a couple of weeks ago but at the time had no way to express unwanted opinions. Then two days ago I had thrown a mix CD (compact disc...sort of like a blu-ray but generally holds audio. People used to use these archaic devices for music) into the car and the song the originally gave me the idea happened to be on their.  

"Alright Geoff...we are getting bored already so just get one to it".

Okay, okay, calm down. I wanted to make a list of my favourite bass intros for songs. The main criteria for this is that the song opens with a strong and instantly recognizable bass riff. I decided that I would not use a single band more than once. The reason for this is I could make an entire list out of Red Hot Chili Peppers but I can't give Flea all the glory...but I will throw some alternate songs and honorable mentions in at the end. I am going to format this in the same vein as my old theme blogs but instead of mp3 links I will link the youtube video for the song with a few embedded right into the blog. Let's get right into it!

10) Queen - Under Pressure (video) / Vanilla Ice - Ice Ice Baby

I'm going to be honest here. I am a big fan of Queen but every time I hear that intro to 'Under Pressure' come on the radio, I think I am about to hear 'Ice Ice Baby'. Every. Single. Time. That probably has more to do with the fact that I was enamored with Rob Vanwinkle's song which sampled Queen's classic. And for that reason I am including them both in the number 10 spot.

9) Bon Jovi - Livin' On A Prayer (video)

Being the youngest of 6 growing up in the 90's I was subjected to many different genres growing up. 80's rock was no exception and I got my my fair dose of Bon Jovi as a kid. My love for the band has always stuck with me though I haven't enjoyed anything since 2000's Crush. With that said, Slippery When Wet is pure nostalgia start to finish and I will never get sick of hearing it.

 8) Muse - Hysteria (video)

Muse's 2003 album Absolution was my true entry point for the band. I had heard some songs here and there but it was this album that made me fall in love with them and there is no denying that 'Hysteria' is a high point of the album. It has an almost manic sounding bass intro that just pumps you up for what is to come.

7) Rage Against the Machine - Take the Power Back

I knew I wouldn't be able to make this list without this song. Rage was a staple of my high school years and 'Take the Power Back's funky bass intro just brings me back to walking to the bus stop with my discman in hand trying my hardest to not be noticed by anyone (which in hind sight probably was hard with hot pink hair and bright orange pants...).

6)  Blink-182 - Carousel (video)

This song is actually pretty far from one of my favourites from the band but there is something so instantly recognizable about the intro that I couldn't leave it off. Well, this makes to posts in a row where I talk about both Blink-182 and Green Day. Next time I swear I will talk about something a bit more current. Amusingly this entire blog could have been the same had I written in 10 years ago when we were last active.

5)  Motörhead - Ace of Spades (video)

Late last year we lost Lemmy Kilmister played his bass the same way he sung, fast and dirty. The sounds he could make with a bass were like no other. Lemmy's death late last December was the beginning of what has been a pretty terrible year in terms of influential deaths in music. 'Ace of Spades' is certainly the band's most well known song and it is well deserved.

4) Nirvana - Sliver

Krist Novoselic is an unfairly talented man and this shows in pretty much every Nirvana song ever. Here is another band that I could have chosen a few different songs to throw on the last but Incesticide's track 2 felt just too perfect to leave off. This song about about being abandoned at your grandparents while your mom and dad are out having fun just kills me every time. I think having kids now makes it even more poignant for me.

3) Green Day - Longview (video)

Ahhh, I feel like I was just talking about the golden years of Green Day. Oh wait, I was.  Dookie was a seminal record for me growing up and it is still the best the band has to offer. That's not to say I haven't liked them since but Dookie is just such a special album and Mike's sexy bass riff on Longview is a highlight.

2) Ozzy Osbourne - No More Tears (video)

This is actually the song that inspired the whole countdown. I can't help but start bobbing my head whenever this song comes on. It's not my favourite Ozzy/Sabbath song by any means (that honor goes to 'Mr. Crowley' which would make my organ intro list if one ever gets made) but it certainly has the most memorable bass line to me.

1) Red Hot Chili Peppers - Around the World

I had to give the top spot to Flea and the Chili Peppers. It was actually a bit hard to choose which song I wanted to use for this as they have so many great bass heavy songs but that opening of Around the World is easily one of the most recognizable of them all. It starts off with a couple of notes before Flea just absolutely shreds the bass and the than it keeps that funky sound going through each verse. Californication is by far my favourite Chili Peppers album and this song just shows why.

Honorable Mentions:

Of course there are tons of other songs that could be listed here but I wanted to give a special shout-out to a few that almost made the list but didn't make the cut:

Pink Floyd's 'Money'. While this song does have a great bass intro, it is the sound of cash registers that I think of primary when I think of how this song begins. For that reason, I couldn't justify including it but wanted to throw it a mention. Then of course you have songs like 'Otherside' from Chili Peppers, Nirvana's 'Lounge Act' or Blink 182's 'Man Overboard' to name a VERY few alternatives I could have chosen for their entries. 'Otherside' in particular was a hard one to pass up as it is probably my favourite from the album. Violent Femmes' 'Blister in the Sun' and 'Jeremy' from Pearl Jam are a couple more that were on the short list but in the end got bumped.

So I know there are hundreds of other songs I could have chosen and I'm sure I missed a few favourites so I want to know what songs you agree with and what you would have chosen different. Let me know down in the comments!

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication
Nirvana - Incesticide
Muse - Absolution

Thursday, September 01, 2016

2016 Forgot What Year It's Supposed To Be

Geoff Trainor

While Mocking Music's revival is probably the most notable comeback in the music world this year it seems that lately there have been a lot of albums coming out that make me forget exactly what year we are in. 

Even though Tom Delonge has decided he's better off chasing aliens, the rest of Blink-182 seems to have come back from the ashes of pop-punk history and released a new album. "Califonia", released this summer brings me right back to the early 2000's when Blink was relevant and the first single "Bored to Death" was a pleasant surprise. Check out the video below.


Speaking of pop-punk from the early 2000s. A week after Blink-182 published the single from their new album their Canadian counterpart, Sum 41 released their own single "Fake My Own Death". When Dave "Brown Sound" Baksh left the band back in 2006 it felt like they just sort of fell apart. With Dave back they might just have found the life it needs to release their first truly great album since 2004's "Chuck".

Well I can't talk about pop-punk without bringing up the once kings of the genre. Green Day was a very important band to me in the 90s. They, along with The Offspring, were the band which first introduced me to punk in general which has since become a very important part of my musical life. In the year of pop-punk revival it seems that Green Day couldn't be left out. They released "Bang Bang" from their upcoming "Revolution Radio". If this first single is any indication it will be the first Green Day album I love since "American Idiot" released in 2004. In certainly is better than anything off the Uno, Dos, Tre garbage that they released.

If pop punk isn't your thing we can get a little harder. Two weeks ago Metallica released the first single for their upcoming album " Self-Destruct". While I've never been a huge Metallica fan in general, I do appreciate their older albums and I love Master of Puppets. The band hasn't really gone anywhere as it has been consistently pumping out albums but they have not been very well received in a long time. It looks like that might be about to change as "Hardwired" has that old 80s Metallica sound and a lot of people appear to get getting excited.

Forget all of that though as it appears that we will be getting a new Tool albums sooner than later. If true 2016 is shaping up to be one of the best years for music revivals. What better year for Mocking Music to make a revival of its own?