El. Psy. Congroo.

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Last Active 05-10-15 8:56 pm
Joined 04-30-07

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07.09.15 Extraordinary Ordinary Rock Albums11.01.14 Fall Back
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Extraordinary Ordinary Rock Albums

I can dig hip-hop and progressive metal and female-fronted twee indie dream pop and all that...but sometimes, I just want some solid ass rock. Don't need all those time signature changes and pinch harmonics--just some head-nodding attitude and catchy-as-fuck tunes. To that end, here are 10 semi-modern rock albums I turn to when I want just that (listed in order of release year JUST BECAUSE).

(1998) This album pretty much encapsulates in every way what I love listening to in a rock album. Super catchy (but maybe not immediately so), easily digested, and rewarding upon multiple listens. You don't have to be in any sort of "mood" to listen to it, just pop it in and sing along, even if you don't know the words. Fun fact--according to my, "Handslide" (track 5) is the song I've listened to most of every single song I've ever heard. Can't get much catchier than that.
2The Exies

(2003) The Exies are underrated, IMO. They didn't rewrite any rules at all, but they hit a sweet spot with me with a carefree approach to rock music--you can hear the quality best in "Lo-Fi," I think. It was pretty immediate, too; the good thing about albums like this is that you can tell pretty quickly whether you'll enjoy it or not. "My Goddess" didn't have to grow on me at all--I liked it from the first time I heard it. And somehow, even as albums I liked way more have fallen to the wayside, this one (and 'Head For The Door') have endured.
3The Butterfly Effect

(2006) The guitar licks are a little prettier in Australia, but the rock is as solid as Uluru. Half the songs on this album would fit right in with the rock music being pushed in America around the same time (see next entry). Songs like "A Slow Descent" and "Before They Knew" are among the catchiest I've ever heard, and while there are definitely progressive elements in the music, the band doesn't allow them to over-complicate the music. The sing-a-long factor is through the roof, which means the replay factor is through the roof, which means you can always find a song or two from this album in my "Current Digs" rotation.
4Alter Bridge

(2007) This has a definite claim as "Best 'Radio Rock' Album Of The Past 10 Years." A bit more riffage and solos than the airwaves are used to, but never mind all that. Because when "Rise Today" comes on in my car, my windows come down and I scream "I WANNA RISE TODAY AND CHANGE THIS WORLD" at the top of my lungs. Also, I'm 28 years old.
The Beautiful Sounds of Revenge

(2010) How the hell does Pete Murray's voice even exist? He hits those notes that seem absolutely impossible, and holds them pitch perfect, seemingly effortlessly. He does the same in concert, too--that's how I first got turned onto the band. The rest of the band is proficient as well (I especially love the bass line in "Texas"), but it's Pete who is going to be the deciding factor as to whether you enjoy the band or not. Lucky for me, this is just the type of rock music I enjoy.
6Foo Fighters
Wasting Light

(2011) Apparently, 2011 was an above-average year for above-average rock music. 'Wasting Light' was the undisputed pinnacle, though--this record single-handedly restored my faith in both the genre and the Foo Fighters. I absolutely COULD NOT get "Burning Bridges" or "A Matter of Time" out of my head, and for the entire year, I was a Foo Maniac, paying attention to everything the band did. There was a contest where they allowed fans to create music videos for all of their songs, and they chose the winner for each song. Damn right, I watched all those videos! Everything about the record appealed to me, and it's probably the Foo album I listen to most now (though 'The Colour And the Shape' still sees plenty of rotation, as it probably always will).
7Jane's Addiction
The Great Escape Artist

(2011) Because when you think of Jane's Addiction, THIS is the album you think of, right? Well (and I know this is blasphemy), this really IS the album I think of when I think of Jane's Addiction. THIS album, of every album I've ever heard, is my go-to road trip album. If I don't know what I want to play, I can put this on and pretty much be all right. I know...fucking LOL, right? Especially since every song is a slow-burning, bass-thumping, mid-tempo romp. But damn it, these songs get stuck in my head so much; I find myself humming "Curiosity Kills" more than I care to admit. I'll attribute this one to personal taste, so yeah, this is my favorite Jane's Addiction album. And they said nothing's shocking...(Funny thing about these guys: They've released an LP in four different decades--80's, 90's 00's and 10's).
8Queens of the Stone Age
...Like Clockwork

(2013) I don't listen to it much, but I'm super receptive to bassy, sludgy music (cause baby, it's nasty). So yeah. that grimy ass opening song always hits the spot and gets me in the mood to listen to this album. And what follows isn't too complicated, nor does it try to be anything more than what the Queens have always put out, but man, sometimes it's EXACTLY what I want to listen to.
9He Is Legend
Heavy Fruit

(2014) Remember what I said about bassy, sludgy music? Well...for about 45 seconds, that's how this album starts, too...and then the band turns up the tempo and reels me like no other band I know. He Is Legend, for me, is probably the pinnacle of catchy. Every one of their albums have been stuck in my head for months at a time (at some point or another), and it's hard for me to go back to an older one because I'm always stuck on the current one until the newest one is released. It's been that way since 'I Am Hollywood', and it continues with 'Heavy Fruit', which is the most straight-forward rock album they've released yet.,.and they do it so well! Damn it, how often has "This Will Never Work" gotten stuck in my head? Right the fuck now, actually. Dammit.
The Heart Is a Monster

(2015) How does a band leave for 19 years, come back, and encapsulate their sound better now than they did back then, WITHOUT sounding like they're trying to recapture the glory days? I dunno, ask Ken Andrews. I've been on a huge Failure kick ever since seeing them live last year (and they sounded perfect). This album became one of my most anticipated of the year, and hearing it now makes me so happy because it's even better than I had hoped it would be. The bassline to "I Can See Houses" hasn't left my head since I first heard the song (I realize my head is a busy place musically)--as a matter of fact, I'm playing the bassline right now on my bass to try and get "This Will Never Work" out of my head (it worked). And "Fair Light Era" has already become one of my favorite songs by the band. If this is to be the future of modern rock, then I'm pretty well set for the genre for life.
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