I seem to have been doing a lot of it this last few weeks – blame it on my birthday, in the main.
I’ve touched on this vaguely in the past, with a Tuesday Ten about the more general subject of drugs, but after a suggestion from Daisy, let’s move onto songs about getting drunk. There are an awful lot of these, unsurprisingly.
One of the more unusual bands I’ve featured here, Joakim Thåström’s Dutch-based industrial-ish wierdoes came up, it seems, with rather more ways of getting drunk than I could possibly think of. And I’d love to know what the 2000 are. What does this sound like? An unexpectedly calm, collected track in the circumstances, and one that doesn’t really do this intriguing band much justice if you’ve never heard ’em before…
Industrial dancefloor mayhem that most club dancefloors still haven’t got bored of yet (four years old, too? Jesus), it’s marvellously and gleefully simple – a pounding beat, linked together with samples from all over the place glorifying the art of getting pasted. From Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas to Family Guy and, I think, Arrested Development, this is a five minute fun ride, that I have the feeling Ben Arp got bored of being known for pretty quickly…
Jim, Let Me Know When You Can Drink Again (Extreme Party Stylezz)
Electronic Saviors: Industrial Music To Cure Cancer
Of course, not everyone can drink when they like: a problem Brian recognises here, with the loss of his drinking “wingman” Jim Semonik to cancer. Happily, Jim has now recovered, so I’d suspect he has his wingman back (and the monster of a compilation that this comes from raised money for cancer charities, which is definitely a good thing). The lyrics sound damned familiar whether you’ve had a friend struck down by serious illness or not, while the music, as is frequently the case with the Gothsicles, is a gentle pastiche of industrial dancefloor stylings…
Fell Off The Floor, Man
In A Bar, Under The Sea
The ever-marvellous dEUS stumbled a little, it seemed, when it got to their second album proper. A woozy, confused mess at first listen, and nowhere was this clearer than on the opener, featuring Scott McCloud of Girls Against Boys offering drunken, er, philosophy, and dEUS themselves apparently offering snippets of about six songs through the five minutes of it, as if this track was written in an almighty drunken haze. Like any drunken night out, this takes a few attempts to make sense of it, before realising that it’s pointless trying, but you go along for the ride anyway. This album did grow on me a lot, too, it has to be said.
Still, you can always rely on Steve Albini to change the atmosphere a little. Like most Big Black stuff, this isn’t complicated – a drum machine, rough-sounding guitars and Albini giving it both barrels with the vocals. A hateful look (again) at smalltown boredom, of having little to do other than go and drink yourself into oblivion and, probably, start a fight at random. So, an average day in the life of a Big Black song…
Ah, those crazy Finns, eh? I’ve never been a fan of this band – or indeed most folk metal, frankly – but how could I not include a song about my drink of choice? It’s folk, it’s metally, it features an accordion, and lyrics glorifying the greatest spirit of all…
My Alcoholic Friends
Talking of fun, to me this song always brings up images of getting hammered with your mates, drinking an awful lot, talking random crap, and having a fantastic time without worrying too much about what is coming the next day. That is, a world of pain, usually, and that nasty thing called the hangover. Speaking of which…
The hard rocking, hard partying collective led by Josh Homme are the kind of people that I’d suspect it would be fun to go drinking with. Although Nick Oliveri, in his tenure in the band, had the aura of someone who will certainly party harder than you, and everyone else. And this track – the best by far of the tracks he sings on in QOTSA – is the aftermath, a squalling, raging three minute letter of hate to the hangover.
Not only do you get the hangover, with drink of course you also get the addiction. And probably the finest take on the shittiness of the situation (certainly better than my other thought for this, Levellers’ Fifteen Years) is one of Black Flag’s best-known tracks: A two-minute punky rush dealing with an entirely unrepentant alcoholic. Also worthy of note is the astounding version on the West Memphis Three tribute that features Mike Patton delivering an absolutely unhinged vocal.
Too Drunk To Fuck
Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death
Finally…lets have Jello Biafra’s punks on another flipside to being hammered. The title says it all, really, but the belligerent lyrics are damned funny, and it’s the only song I can think of that actually references Eraserhead (or any other David Lynch films, for that matter).