Sponge is representative of the new brand of post-grunge rock currently pouring out of Seattle. Their second album, Wax Ecstatic, on Columbia gave us a motherlode of great new songs and riffs, and the current single, Have You Seen Mary, is a perfect example of what all the shouting is about.
Shrouded in horror-film mystique and proclaiming themselves to be “the Stooges of the 90s,” Marilyn Manson and company are the newest proponents of the shock-rock school of David Bowie, Kiss, Alice Cooper, and Iggy Pop. Sweet Dreams, from the Smells Like Children album, was the song that provided the group with their first big MTV hit. A strange offering to be sure, it reinvents a mid-80s synthesizer-based Eurythmics track as an unlikely collision of death metal and techno-pop for the post-grunge alternative era. There is a second version of song Sweet Dreams. Earlier we transcribed this song, the first version can be found here. (more…)
It is hard to think of a tune as pervasive in our culture as Louie Louie. The ultimate garage-band and frat-party song of all time, it is the epitome of attitude and the precursor of both rudimentary metal and punk. Though Louie Louie has been covered in over 200 different renditions, the definitive version belongs to The Kingsmen, who released it back in 1963 and gave it its familiar “da-da-da, da-da, da-da-da, da-da” rhythm pattern. One of rock’s happy accidents, it came about when lead singer Jack Ely incorrectly taught the Wailers’ version to the band at an early recording session. In true garage-band fashion and in keeping with the twisted evolution of rock music, the song was recorded practically ad lib in a primitive local studio for $50, using only three mikes. It rose to become one of the permanent icons of rock ‘n’ roll. (more…)
Deriving their name from a Gothic horror flick starring Boris Karloff, their image from the diverse trappings of occult mysticism, mythology, and the supernatural, and their sound from an amalgam of late-60s blues-rock and progressive musics, Black Sabbath transcended all their influences to almost single-handedly write the first official chapter of heavy metal in the early 70s. Led by guitarist Tony Iommi and vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, they brought a new scariness and heaviness to the rock scene, presaging the arrival of today’s hard rock genre by decades. Paranoid, the title song from their second and perhaps finest album is a vivid case in point, standing as one of the most durable metal tracks of all time. (more…)
Counting Crows have defined heartland pop for the new age. This solid six-piece band, fueled by the guitar team of Dan Vickrey (lead guitar) and Dave Bryson (rhythm guitar), have laid claim to the turf established by Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, and John Cougar Mellencamp in the past two decades and are currently revitalizing and reinventing the genre with their inimitable blend of pop, country, and rock influences. Along the way, the Vickrey-Bryson pairing has become a classic pop-rock guitar duo of the 90s. Let’s examine some of the duo’s magic chemistry found on A Long December, the lead single from their long-awaited Rediscovering the Satellites album. (more…)
The Who’s first big hit imparted a metallic urgency to the British Invasion of the mid 60s. Simply stated, My Generation is one of those records that turned pop music into rock music – fierce, brash and a thoroughly unique statement. In it Pete Townshend aggressively established a tradition of rhythm guitar and a rock warrior attitude that is a cornerstone of the Who legacy. One of the first pop records to overtly flaunt berserk power chording, guitar feedback and noise-as-music, it doesn’t just stop there.
You have to consider Keith Moon’s bashing drum attack. John Entwistle’s groundbreaking (and ground-shaking) bass guitar breaks, and Roger Daltrey’s sputtered pill-head vocals to gauge its full impact. And those factors push its intensity needle fully into the red. (more…)