Green Day, "Hitchin' a Ride"
Nimrod is an uneven record, but I really like the high points of it, and this is one of them, I think. It's nice to hear them expirimenting with their formula some, as Insomniac really did not at all.
The Budos Band, "Arcane Rambler"
Burnt Offering found the Budos Band referencing hard rock pretty explicitly in their music, and it was a really nice breath of fresh air. The following album returned to their numbering system, and V represents kind of the midpoint between III and Burnt Offering. There are still some of those same hard rock riffs here and there, but the Afrobeat is clearly back in the driver's seat. It's a great album from a band that have really taken it up a notch in their last few albums.
The Aquabats!, "Plastic Lips!"
There was a six-year gap between Aquabats vs. The Floating Eye of Death! and Charge!!, and that gap also corresponded to a musical change. Gone are the horns, leaving the band in more of a pure pop-punk mode. Say that three times fast! It's still as lightweight and silly as ever, a breakfast cereal in musical form, but I do miss the horns. Still, I can't hate this kind of stuff, it would be like hating a goofy dog.
By the time they arrived at Gold & Grey, Baroness was fully John Baizley's band. All other members had departed, and so this is really a different band than it was when it started out. That said, it's still working in the same genre, and Dave Fridmann behind the boards allows them to indulge in their expansive, progressive tendencies fully. This song really will tell you what this album is like.
fIREHOSE, "Riddle of the Eighties"
I've been on a Minutemen/fIREHOSE jag recently, and as always, that's a good call. I know I say it every time they come up, but if you love the Minutemen and haven't given fIREHOSE a fair shake, give it another whirl. Especially if you're an old fart like me.
If you don't love the Minutemen, you aren't allowed on this blog.