Ready for the Friday 5!!

Optimist Club – “41,000 Years” from Ripped & Psyched: How To Be A Winner

If Ian McKaye had stopped the change in his music’s sound between Minor Threat and Fugazi, odds are he would have ended up making the jagged rock of short-lived Optimist Club…furiously shouted vocals over stop-start drums, the group made some wicked punk rock that managed to remain melodic despite the frenzy…it’s a wonder that this came out in 2006, and not 1983…

The Jam – “Precious” from The Gift

By the time the mod-revivalists’ final album came out, leader Paul Weller was growing weary of the loud, fast punk thing…while he would go on to front the decidedly un-rocking Style Council, Weller’s love for funk and soul can be found all through this record…interestingly, this song has a remarkably similar bassline to “Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag”…

Clinic – “Tomorrow” from Do It!

The masked boys from England return for their fifth reverb-drenched album…while the guys were never strangers to odd instrumentation (take, for example, the flute solo on “Free Not Free”, also from this record), this song’s mix of acoustic guitar and fuzzed-out harmonica come off as strange, even for them…I guess it’s that I’m so used to totally electric numbers from them that this blues-stomp stands out…

The Boomtown Rats – “Rat Trap” from A Tonic For The Troops

Evidently, back when WMMR first played this song, they claimed it sounded like Springsteen…true, the combination of piano, saxophone and Geldof’s storytelling lyrics are enough to conjure images of Asbury Park, but still the song stands out as distinctively Boomtown Rats…the Rats would explore more balladeer-ing on The Fine Art Of Surfacing (which contains their best-known song, “I Don’t Like Mondays”), but their new wave rock & roll is really where they shined…

Mike Doughty – “Fort Hood” from Golden Delicious

I’m not quite sure when Mike Doughty started sounding like Dave Matthews, but it was likely when the former Soul Coughing frontman signed to Matthews’ ATO Records…since Haughty Melodic, Doughty’s songwriting has gotten much tamer than it was in his Ruby Vroom days, but this song is notable for a few reasons: firstly, it opens his new album (a blessing and a curse, since it’s arguably the best track), and it also includes the chorus from “Let The Sun Shine In”…no, not the song that Pebbles and Bam-Bam sing, the song from Hair, silly…

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~ by E. on April 12, 2008.

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