Less Than Jake, "Automatic"
Forget the horns, forget the rest of the surrounding scene, this is just a hell of a fine pop-punk song. Chris DeMakes turns in a great vocal performance here, and there's nothing I'd change about this tune.
Queen, "Soul Brother"
Geez, speaking of vocal performances. This is one of the bonus tracks on the deluxe re-issue of Hot Space, and it's a fun addition. By and large, bonus tracks don't add a ton, but frankly, that album was kind of a mess in the first place, so having a fun vamp like this added is an improvement.
Pyrolatrous, "Hallowed Ground of the Night"
Metal song names are just an endless source of amusement. Of course, they also named this EP EP, so you know, can't win them all. This song kind of starts as pretty straight ahead black metal, but winds up in more of a death metal place by the middle of the song, but takes a shift back into that tremelo picking stuff at the end. It's a pretty fun ride.
The Beastie Boys, "Just A Test"
When Hello Nasty came out, I was pretty unhappy with it. I was a big fan of the previous three records, and I didn't really care for all the synths and electro-funk inspired sounds. I listened to it a few times and kind of gave up on it. Then, of course, the relentless churn of my music habit kind of buried it in my memory. Considering how much I like those kinds of sounds these days, I really need to haul it back out and give it another chance. I suspect I'll end up liking it a lot.
Company Flow, "The Fire In Which You Burn"
And here's the other side of the scale from Hello Nasty, the spare, stripped down collages of Company Flow. This album was a contemporary, but Company Flow were explicitly rejecting the trends in corportate hip-hop, creating a new, spastic, almost sci-fi sound that would inspire a bunch of underground bands (and, of course, launched El-P on his trajectory).