Five Songs, 12/23/2017
Five Songs

Five Songs, 12/23/2017

Here is today's music. Some real ugliness, in the cover art of the first album and the lyrics of the last one.

Unsane, "Organ Donor"

I could have sworn we had hit Unsane before, but the theoretically infallible Five Songs Index says otherwise, so here we are. Unsane were a noise rock trio from New York, part of the same general underground as bands like Helmet, Cop Shoot Cop, and others. I was huge into that entire scene, and really liked Unsane a lot. That, however, wasn't really what they were known for with most people. No, what they were known for was the cover art on their debut album, depicting a decapitated person on subway tracks. They would continue with the violent album covers, covers which set the mood for the dark music within. And that dark tone affected the band as well, with their original drummer dying of a heroin overdose.

So, what about the music? It's pretty punishing stuff, meant to be ugly and grim, and they succeed. I did eventually get a bit tired of them, as they didn't really evolve a whole lot between records, but I do still listen to that first album a fair bit, this song being the lead track of that album.

The Clash, "Cheapskates"

I think if I could only listen to one band from the 70s, it would be the Clash. And yes, I know their career spanned into the 80s, I'm going off when they started. And I'll confess I haven't thought about this deeply, so I'm probably missing somebody.

Squarepusher, "Tensor In Green"

Whew, something instrumental. It was getting kind of heavy in here. This is a great bit of frantic, hyperactive craziness from Just a Souvenir, the latter day Squarepusher album that probably most resembles his early work. Because of that, it's the late album that I'd probably be most likely to recommend from him.

Black Death, "Arrogance"

Not the frowny, scorched earth metal you might guess from the band name, this is another track from the Darkscorch Canticles compilation of psychedelic rock intended to accompany a board game.

Big Black, "Dead Billy"

As usual, the lyrical contents of a Big Black song are pretty damn ugly. I touched on my thoughts on this kind of thing with the Mayhem track from the other day, but briefly, I think that some of these really grim songs get me thinking about their subjects, and I think examining the underside of the human experience can have value.

Joshua Buergel
View Comments
Next Post

Five Songs, 12/24/2017

Previous Post

Five Songs, 12/22/2017