Warming up with Friday 5!!

Depeche Mode – “Wrong” from Sound Of The Universe
Since the fruits of Bauhaus’ reunion were less than inspired, the gloomy masses will have to wait until April for their other heroes’ return.  The Mode’s new album is a return to the buzzy sounds of Some Great Reward, with Dave Gahan brooding as strongly as ever.  It makes me a little doubtful, though, that they’ve never had a song called “Wrong” before.

M.I.A. – “Boyz” from Kala
There is so much going on in this song, I’m not even sure where to begin.  Between Maya’s yelping and every drum within a ten-mile radius of the studio banging out a tribal stomp, “Boyz” was the first explosive single from Maya’s breakthrough second album.  This song, like every other song ever recorded, was sampled by Greg “Girl Talk” Gillis for his Feed The Animals album, further cementing M.I.A.’s status as one of the most creative forces in modern music.

Friendly Fires – “On Board” from Friendly Fires
Too many young British bands take the easy way out and try to sound like Joy Division.  Friendly Fires do indeed go for the Factory Records sound, though they fall a little closer to Ian Curtis’ well-dressed contemporaries, A Certain Ratio.  Bonzo rhythms and slinky basslines make Friendly Fires a band with a style that is at once classic and fresh.

Primal Scream – “Kill All Hippies” from Xtrmntr
In concert, like on record, Primal Scream come across as two bands: a gritty rock outfit and a relentless experimental electronic band.  Their battle cry from 1999’s throbbing Xtrmntr, “Kill All Hippies” is a fitting sentiment for a band that blossomed out of the psychedelic dance scene of the mid-‘80s.  Bobby Gillespie’s no-nonsense approach to genre-shifting ultra rock chugs on with last year’s Beautiful Future, whose only fault is that it was never released in the United States.

Ramones – “Wart Hog” from Too Tough To Die
The Ramones’ eighth (and, too some, last good) album was really Dee Dee’s baby.  Writing or co-writing nine of the set’s thirteen songs, Dee Dee also takes a rare lead vocal on two, including this one.  The lyrics (such as here) were deemed too offensive to be printed on the album’s sleeve, which may have been later compounded with Joey’s disgust at the P.M.R.C. as the inspiration for the group’s 1992 single, “Censorshit.”  Additionally, To Tough To Die was the first Ramones album to feature drummer Ritchie, who provides a searing beat and backing vocals on this track.

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~ by E. on March 27, 2009.

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