BY LAUREN ESPINA
In that moment when you’re forced to look straight into the cold, critical eyes of reality–whether it’s meeting a deadline, graduating college or something as little as getting a parking ticket–pressure from outside forces can drive you crazy. On the other hand, pressure can also have a funny effect on people, one that sparks and develops in them a burning urge to ignore all responsibilities. We’ve all been there. We’ve all had moments when the only thing that makes sense is to run, play, scream, or laugh in the face of reality. So here’s a playlist of some punk rock, garage-rock and roll, and indie rock songs that help us cut loose during the most demanding of times, because sometimes, you just have to let yourself be.
First up is a song that inspires disorder. The Wooden Shjips‘ “Black Smoke Rise” has a constant and grinding guitar riff that seems to mock monotony, while synthesizers and subtle keyboard riffs add mischievous and playful tones. This song is a raw, filthy, obscene brand of garage rock, and we’re not talking about its lyrics.
The Hives represents a very rebellious and impulsive time, and the band’s anthem “Walk Idiot Walk,” speaks for itself.
Next up is “8050 (Too Fast, Too Slow),” by the White Arrows. There is a tension in this song, perfectly characterized with Mickey Schiff’s raw voice, that conveys confusion. Instead of illustrating tones of fear and apprehension, this song seems to revel in the unknown.
The Ramones!!! The obvious choice for a playlist about letting go of responsibility and order would be “I Wanna Be Sedated.” But the band’s song “Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment” is a better choice. The song is a critique of what is considered normal and crazy, and its about the pressure to conform to certain standards that every person I know has felt.
This playlist would not be complete without The Clash. Written in the late 1970s during the Cold War, “London Calling” exemplifies the original Brit punk scene that was driven by aggression towards politics and establishment.
The next song has more pop sensibilities than the previous ones. Wild Beasts‘ “Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants” is about passion-kindled youth that operates on impulse. Its about fulfilling desires and instant gratification. Oh, to be young…
It was hard to resist the urge to put The Trogg’s “Wild Thing” on the playlist. In its place is, “I Can’t Control Myself,” a light-hearty and catchy tune that has a certain innocence while still capturing an out of control (hence the title) natural urge that can’t be suppressed.
“Someday” is perhaps The Strokes‘ most recognizable song, and for good reason. The song captures a very universal feeling: the tugging and aching feeling of longing for the good old days. And it does so through dance friendly rock and roll. What’s not to like?
To wrap this playlist up, there is a tune by a little band called Arcade Fire. “Wake Up” is a song about lost youth and the pains of growing up, but the tone of the song remains hopeful. With pounding drum beats, grimy guitar riffs, singing violins, and vocal performances that literally shout, the song’s cinematic sphere of sound cascades itself over the solemn lyrics and turns this song into an anthem for an optimistic future.
1. Wooden Shjips- “Black Smoke Rise”
2. The Hives- “Walk Idiot Walk”
3. White Arrows- “8050 (Too Fast, Too Slow)”
4. The Ramones- “Gimmie Gimmie Shock Treatment”
5. The Clash- “London Calling”
6. Wild Beasts- “Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants”
7. The Troggs- “I Can’t Control Myself”
8. The Strokes- “Someday”
9. Arcade Fire- “Wake Up”
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