There was a lot of noise last year around 11/11/11 to celebrate the mythical level 11 on the volume control made notorious/famous in this scene from Spinal Tap. I had for long wanted to write about my list of songs (or just some of them) that I love to turn the noise knob up on. Silly git that I’m, I didn’t want to get on to the 11/11/11 bandwagon. Now that sufficient time has been logged since that fateful day, I can play it up…finally. This set is by no means exhaustive. Consider it a themed post in my ‘Right Now’ series.
Of all of the prolific Jack White’s projects, I found The Raconteurs’ second album ‘Consolers Of The Lonely’ the most approachable, and I don’t mean that as a slur. In an album of mostly enjoyable tracks, the one you want to burn down your neighbours’ ears with is the title track (though there’s only a singular ‘Consoler’ in keeping with the quirkiness that riddles this album) with its shifting dual pace and raunchy guitars.
‘Holdin On To Black Metal’ by My Morning Jacket from last year’s superb ‘Circuital’ is an insanely brilliant meld of soul and rock, of school kid choir and Jim James falsetto. It’s a madness that extends to the lyrics too. Suits me just fine, thank you.
I’m no rap aficionado, but Jay-Z always gets my attention. ’99 Problems’ has one of the most striking starts to a song that I’ve heard. I can’t get that repetitive guitar riff out of my head nor lines like this:
Pray for him, cause some fools just love to perform
You know the type, loud as a motor bike
But wouldn’t bust a grape in a fruit fight
Porcupine Tree’s ‘Trains’ from the fantastic ‘In Absentia’ is an example of a song that does not go at breakneck pace or is smothered with snarling guitars, yet still makes you want to reach for that volume knob and twist it past break-point. And do pay attention to the lyrics – there’s so much going on there. This is one of my favourite songs from a band that I’m a huge fan of. I have my friend Vinay to thank for introducing me to their music.
I will close out with this stand-out track from Muse’s terrific ‘Black Holes & Revelations’. Whenever I hear the dramatic ‘Supermassive Black Hole’, I draw a picture in my head of a sports arena filled with 90,000 raving spectators, when out walks a hero, a gladiator, a giant among men to the blaring of this song. Ah, what a rush!