What’s up, weirdos? Jake here, ready to melt your face off with our latest Spotify playlist. This week’s theme: Heavy metal, in all its skull-crushing, finger-tapping, demon-growling glory. Plus one sensitive grindcore piano ballad, because we know how those grindcore kids love the lighters-up moments.
1. Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, “Helpless Corpses Enactment.” I’m not letting you people off easy this week. I’m throwing you right into the deep end of weird metal with a track from this sadly defunct San Francisco outfit, who did things to heavy music only a pretentious bunch of Bay Area art freaks could do.
2. Demon Tool, “La Naissance du Mal.” I’ll be honest: I found this track when I was looking for something from Tool. But it turns out Tool has licensed exactly zero of its catalog to Spotify, so you’ll have to settle for this obscure band that just happens to have Tool in their name. Plus, they sing in French, which is kinda weird in this context. It’s hard to sound demonic when you’re growling in the language of love.
3. Mayhem, “Buried by Time and Dust.” The original and greatest Norwegian black metal band. This track is from their classic 1994 album, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, which means you’re hearing dead guitarist Euronymous playing alongside the man who murdered him, bassist Varg Vikernes. Creepy, huh?
4. Mr. Bungle, “Everyone I Went to High School With Is Dead.” Even when Mike Patton isn’t breaking out his operatic banshee shrieks, Mr. Bungle’s spin on heavy rock is still pretty out there.
5. Goblin Cock, “Kegrah the Dragon Killer.” Goblin Cock is what happens when indie rock nerds try to do a stoner metal band—they shred, kinda, but in case the band name didn’t tip you off, the whole thing’s pretty tongue-in-cheek. The head indie rock nerd is this case is Rob Crow from Pinback. I also had to include a Goblin Cock track because I ripped off one of their totally awesome album covers as the lead image for this playlist. Hail Satan! And/or the well-endowed, Satan-like figure seen in most Goblin Cock artwork!
6. Powerglove, “Heffalumps and Woozles (Winnie the Pooh).” More nerd-metal, this time from a bunch of dudes from Boston who do heavy instrumental versions of songs from videogames and children’s cartoons. Yes, this really is based on the “Heffalumps” song from Winnie the Pooh—if you don’t believe me, here’s the original. Okay, it’s a loose interpretation, but still. Those Heffalumps will fuck your shit up.
7. Schwarzenator, “Predator.” This is slightly less nerdy than songs about Heffalumps and dragon killers, but not by much. Schwarzenator are one of three, count ’em, three metal bands whose songs are all based on Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. I would include tracks from ArnoCorps and Austrian Death Machine, too, but one Ahh-nuld-themed song per playlist is really my limit. Get to da choppuh!
8. Bang Camaro, “Swallow the Razor.” Pop-metal with a “dude choir” of about 15 singers. If more ’80s hair metal bands had employed dude choirs, maybe we’d all still be listening to Skid Row and Whitesnake to this day. Oh, wait, some of you are still listening to Skid Row and Whitesnake? Well, then maybe you wouldn’t be doing it in your parents’ basement.
9. Dir En Grey, “Lotus.” Japanese prog-metal. Any questions? No? Moving on…
10. Common Grackle, “At the Grindcore Show.” You know how some metal albums have a nice little ballad or acoustic interlude before they return to their regularly scheduled face-melting? This is sorta that track. It also nicely sets up our next few grindcore(ish) tracks.
11. Cattle Decapitation, “Gestation of Smegma.” Technically, I guess these San Diego dudes aren’t true grindcore, but a related genre called goregrind. Whatever. All I know is I’m really glad most of their songs are less than one minute long.
12. The Locust, “We Have Reached an Official Verdict: Nobody Gives a Shit.” Another San Diego band (featuring ex-Cattle Decap drummer Gabe Serbian), The Locust also aren’t technically grindcore, but an even more distantly related genre called powerviolence. And you thought the dance music kids liked to split hairs over genre distinctions.
13. Iwrestledabearonce, “Alaskan Flounder Basket.” Again, not really grindcore…they’re more screamo/experimental…oh, fuck it. Just prepare to be ear-raped.
14. Horse the Band, “A Million Exploding Suns.” I had to throw these guys in here because they play yet another obscure/bizarre subgenre called “nintendocore,” which is basically hardcore + videogame music. I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried, people!
15. GWAR, “Black and Huge.” This one needs no introduction. It’s fucking GWAR! Bow down, human scum.
16. Super Geek League, “Naked Machine.” These Seattle freaks call their very GWAR-like funk-thrash-punk sound “soul metal.” I just call it my soundtrack for breaking stuff.
17. Apocalyptica, “Enter Sandman.” Metallica, played by cellos. This shit cracks me up every time I hear it, but I’m pretty sure they’re serious. They’re from Finland, so it’s hard to tell.
Hope you dug this week’s playlist. Tune in next week (or the week after, we’re not really on any set schedule with these things), when my partner Andy returns with Music for Pussies.