Another weekly round up of select tracks from the family iPod. This week includes punk rock, death metal, bluegrass and more…
Broads – The World May Be Over
One of my current favorite acts in the world is Australia’s Broads, a duo comprised of songwriters and multi-instrumentalists, Kelly Day and Jane Hendry (who performed as one half of the amazing Nymphs prior to branching out on their own). What these two women accomplish with just their amazing voices and some sparse instrumentation is nothing short of phenomenal. This number in particular is a perfect tune for heading west as the sun comes up over the horizon and a new day dawns right in front of you. This track comes off their self-titled, debut EP and might be my personal favorite. From the looks of their Facebook page it would appear that a new album is in the works. I can not express how giddy this makes me.
Avail – On The Nod
I love punk rock it all of it’s many forms. Obviously I tend to drift towards the heavier bands, especially the ones that crossed the line completely into the metal world and a lot of the early American hardcore stuff. But I am also a fan of the occasional punk rock band that adds more accessible elements to their music. One of those bands that I’ve been in love with for a long, long time is Virginia’s Avail. Two of their albums in particular would fall on my list of all-time favorite punk records. One of those albums is 1994’s Dixie. It was the case of the perfect record coming along at just the right time in my life. (In this case, arguably, to this day, the worst year of my life I’ve ever experienced.) It’s an uplifting and powerful album, and the opening track “On The Nod” is one of the best of the band’s career in my humble opinion.
The SteelDrivers – Angel of the Night
I love me some bluegrass and one of my favorite bluegrass bands in the world, for some time now, is The SteelDrivers. Their Reckless album, which came out back in 2010 is still my favorite contemporary bluegrass albums. These guys write amazingly catchy songs that stick with you for a long time. If you asked my 11-year old to give you a list of her all-time favorite songs this track would undoubtedly find its way on to this list, and probably somewhere near the top. It’s not out of the question for her to request this song on long car rides from the back seat of the van, and have it be the only request she throws out there the whole trip. One listen and you’ll see why. It’s amazing…and also not the most child-appropriate subject matter either, which I’m pretty positive she hasn’t caught onto yet. For now I’ll just settle on the entire family singing the chorus at the top of our lungs and roll with it.
Morbid Angel – The Lion’s Den
Morbid Angel are one of the greatest death metal bands in metal history. There is no discussion to the contrary in my mind. While I have found their recent output personally disappointing, their first three proper studio albums (and parts of their fourth and fifth) are some of the greatest moments of the last 25 years in metal. My personal favorite album is their Covenant record. While it’s a little more refined in its songwriting and a little more polished in the studio than the first two albums, it’s just so, so brutally heavy. One of the best tracks on the record is “The Lions Den.” When my oldest wanted to taste-test some more death metal a few years ago this was one of the first records I put on her iPod. It’s still one of her favorites…
Iron Maiden – The Wickerman
I’ve mentioned before my family’s unwavering love of Iron Maiden. There’s really not much I can say about arguably the greatest heavy metal band ever that hasn’t already been said. This track comes off their 2000 “comeback” record, Brave New World. This easily the best song off what’s become a somewhat underrated album. One of the best songs they’ve written since mid-80s era Maiden and one of the best songs to all shout to at the top of your lungs in the car.