All, "Vida Blue"
Even on their later albums, All could still sometimes summon up some nicely soaring power pop stuff. I mean, this is basically just Cheap Trick, but whatever, Cheap Trick is fun.
Sonic Youth, "Dirty Boots"
Meanwhile, this is basically what it sounds like when Sonic Youth tries to play a pop song. This is the song that opens Goo, and it lets you know that the band has not fallen off at all from Daydream Nation. There are some bands and albums that are unmistakably at their time, and they only really make sense when viewed within their original context. Then there are bands like Sonic Youth, who at their best sound totally outside of time, as fresh now as when they first made this record [checks] almost 29 years ago? Goddammit, I'm old.
The video, meanwhile, is EXTREMELY of its time. Steve Shelley's hair is amazing.
McLusky, "Dethink to Survive"
Future of the Left is a favorite around here at Five Songs HQ (my basement), but before Andrew Falkous was making a racket in that band, he was making an even louder racket with McLusky. Raging and unhinged, they kicked out a brand of noise rock that was more towards the punk end of things. More "Boilermaker" than "The End of Radio", if you know what I mean. McLucky Do Dallas is their best record, and is a must for any fans of this kind of thing.
Gang of Four, "Not Great Men"
I think every review of Gang of Four is required to use the word "taut". It's in the by-laws somewhere, I think. At any rate, by 1979, post-punk was in full flower, with bands like Gang of Four and Wire kicking out angular, rhythmic, spastic, and yes, taut records that would inspire bands for decades. I mean, half of the rock bands who got big in the 2000s owe at least something of their sound to Gang of Four.
The Slew, "The Grinder"
The Slew are a side project of Kid Koala and Dynomite D., who were signed to make the soundtrack to a film. When that fell through, they decided to go ahead and finish up the album and release it anyway. Like any Kid Koala release, the turntable pyrotechnics are worth the price of admission.