The uncharacteristically warm winter that we just witnessed on the East Coast may have masked it, but summer is only weeks away from another triumphant return. And accompanying that inevitable reappearance, of course, will be staples like baseball, grilling and the beach. While the upcoming Torche album could serve as a perfect complement to any of those activities, not to mention as the season’s soundtrack, the quartet’s drummer wasn’t ready to stop there. In fact, Rick Smith is so stoked about summer (perhaps in part because he’ll be spending it on tour with COC) that he sent us his very own “summer fun” mix, complete with all of the 4/4 hi-hat, fuzzed out and exclamation point action you can handle. Be sure to check out his playlist on Spotify (and subscribe to the playlist while you’re at it as we’ll update it rather regularly) while you read about his selections (there’s even a blog-only bonus track for chrissakes!).
Melvins — “Youth Of America” (from 2001’s Electroretard/2010’s Sludge Glamorous EP)
What can I say? The Melvins may be one of the only bands EVER that can cover whatever they want and manage to make it just as good as the original. Sometimes even better! This is one of my favorite Melvins covers, them playing the Wipers. Perfect song to play once you hit the open road!!
Tubeway Army — “Listen To The Sirens” (from 1978’s Tubeway Army)
I love Gary Numan and I really love this song…it’s got the driving 4/4 hi-hat beat that never fails to set the mood for a fun summer party, and HEAVY guitars and synths to boot! I love the way it all kicks in together at first for the chorus!! Time to pogo with your friends!
Guided By Voices — “Unleashed! The Large-Hearted Boy” (from 1992’s Propeller)
We covered this song on our split with Part Chimp. Unlike the Melvins, we couldn’t do the original justice, so here it is on my summer mix for Decibel! A great, upbeat song that sounds like it was ripped from a pissed-on sun-warped cassette tape…in true GBV fashion!
The Spits — “Live In A Van” (from 2009’s The Spits (Vol. IV))
The Spits always bring the party! This song always gets stuck in my head…a short lil’ ditty by the name of “Live In A Van” off of their fourth LP. I agree with them, I don’t wanna live in a van either! I’d rather be partying on the beach with my friends!!!!
JEFF The Brotherhood — “Shredder” (from 2011’s We Are The Champions)
More driving 4/4 hi-hat action in this fuzzed out rocker by JEFF The Brotherhood. Gotta love the straightforward hi-hat driven fuzz punk! The guitars sound good on this and I love the production. This one might be their most upbeat track on the record, makes me think of cruising in a car along the ocean. Yes please!!!
The Marked Men — “All In Your Head” (from 2009’s Ghosts)
What a great opener for an album! 4/4 hi-hat speed demon shred-yr-face drumming over lightning speed guitar riffing and amazingly catchy vocals!! These guys do what they do best, which is playing at super-quick speeds and keeping it very melodic and clean. Mandatory band for a summer fun playlist!
Misfits — “Children In Heat” (from 1979’s “Horror Business” single/1995’s Collection 2)
Needs no introduction. One of my favorite Misfits songs of all time. Definite party starter. PLAY LOUD!!
Part Chimp — “Crash The High Octave” (from 2007’s Cup)
Easily one of the most underrated bands of our time. This is when you break out the joint with your buds and get ripped and let this one take you along for the ride! SUPER fuzzed out, heavy-as-hell guitars, repetitious rhythm section just smashing along in the back. This simply just ROCKS!!! I’m still waiting for the day that this band gets the recognition that it deserves. Soon???
Trans Am — “Carboforce” (from 1997’s Surrender To The Night)
Now that you’re stoned to the bone, this will be the closer for the summer fun mix. A lengthy, very focused, upbeat, structured jam by D.C.’s Trans Am. Very blissful and delicate at times, loud and pounding at others. This track really takes you somewhere! Sounds like they drew influence for this track from a lot of German ’70s progressive rock like Neu! and Harmonia…how can that be a bad thing?????!!?!?
Milk Music — “I’ve Got A Wild Feeling” (from 2011’s Live At WFMU)
An important band in the underground today (actually maybe not-so-underground anymore?). These guys are starting to blow up. Imagine a wonderful clash of Dinosaur Jr. and Hüsker Dü with fuzzed out guitars and straight-to-the-point vocal melodies that are really catchy! This recording is live from a radio show, but I’m looking forward to hearing a studio recording sometime soon with second guitars. Should be great.
*Torche’s third full-length, Harmonicraft, is set for an April 24th release. You can buy it here
**Check out our March 2012 issue that includes a Torche flexi
***Photo: Gary Copeland
****Previous Decibrity Playlists:
“Best of” Meshuggah
Shane Embury (Part 1) (Part 2)