Monday, June 13, 2005

Mediocre bands, great songs

Here's a list I'll come back to at some point. Just wanted to get it started ...

More Human Than Human, White Zombie: Not only is this the only decent song that will fall out of Rob Zombie's addled mind, but the studio version is the only decent version you'll ever hear. I saw them attempt to play this on one of those MTV award shows and they ... were ... horrible. You could pick four random guys off the street, spend an hour teaching them basics of how to play their instruments, and they'd sound roughly the same. If they had any sense of rhythm (or were sober), they might sound better.

But it's a great song, isn't it?

Mirror in the Bathroom, English Beat: It's not really fair to call the English Beat a "mediocre" band, and they have other worthwhile songs -- Stand Down Margaret is a nice bit of righteous anger to a danceable beat, and we all love Save It for Later. But did they ever do anything quite like this? The compelling minor-key riff fits into a backdrop much tighter than the usual laid-back ska settings that drag down some of their other efforts, and the driving beat fits perfectly with the lyrics' tone of paranoia and alienation.

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