Friday 12 October 2018

Head to Head Challenge - #1 - 5 Songs to Change a lifetime. Metallica Vs Jimmy Eat World

Here at A Life Of Music Rocks HQ we often get into music related debates between ourselves, whether it be hypothetical banter about the best fake band names or whether it be serious discussions about each others musical taste.
Whilst we all have eclectic tastes, we don't all like the same bands - and often have conflicting views.
In a bid to settle a debate a challenge was set - create a playlist of 5 Songs to change the mind of your opponent.

In the Red corner Chris, our resident Metal Head, who's music tastes ranges from Neneh Cherry to Metallica, and everything in between - if it be Chemical Brothers or Katy Perry, there is no genre left untouched in his playlist. Chris has often jokes at our tastes in the "pop-punk" genre.

Over in the Blue corner is Richard, who'd like to tell you his genre is 90's & 00's pop-punk, but the fact is his music genre is everything. Brought up on Queen, Elton John, the Animals, Spice Girls, Sex Pistols, Eminem, Pavarotti and so much more! His music taste is eclectic, but he's more than happy to admit he doesn't like The Beatles or Metallica.
In his word's "my problem is that I feel some bands are one dimensional, they churn out the same song over and over and their fans fall for it every time, this led to the debate with Mr Foxon. Maybe I am just saying every song sounds the same to wind him up or maybe it's because every song I hear from Metallica on the radio merges into one..."

On a recent discussion around Jimmy Eat World tour Richard and Chris came to blows about if Jimmy Eat World were actually good. Richard claiming that Jimmy Eat World are class live and a really good act, whilst Chris branding them Soulless Pap, boring, no better than One Direction, and a great band if you want to drive 29mph.  With that, Richard hit back at Chris and Metallica, from here the gauntlet was set.

Richard to create a playlist on 5 Jimmy Eat World songs.
Chris to create a playlist on 5 Metallica songs.
Avoiding the obvious singles and major albums the two got to work to musically challenge 30+years of ingrained taste & opinions.

First, Richard listens to Chris' 5 Metallica songs

Sooo where to begin, well this little experiment has come about as I can't hold my tongue and enjoy throwing controversial thoughts out there, especially towards Mr Foxon, who as we all know has a deep love for all things metal. Thinking logically I am just going to blitz through in the order he made the playlist.

The first 'song' is King Nothing, and to be totally honest it is a whole load of nothing, it is the stereotypical Metallica song, repetitive guitar riffs, gravelly voice and angry lyrics (at least I assume they are angry, certainly sound it). I had to check several times the name of the song as I was convinced it was enter sandman even at the end of the song there is a very quiet vocal which says of to never never land... At this point I was thinking this is shit and is totally going to ruin my usually enjoyable drive home and he'll it's even a Friday. 

Now as I am writing this, after having the initial listen, I am kind of thinking Mr Foxon has made his playlist tactically and chose a shite song to begin with to soften my attitude towards the next track. Well he didn't need to, it was a live recording of No Leaf Clover, it is I am sad to say decent, certainly get into my massive playlist for long journeys. 

The fact it is a live version and is flawless helps draw me but the main selling point is that it is done in a style that I just didn't believe Metallica capable of, it's my opinion now that they just release the same songs to the singles chart for there fans who are radio listeners, and not the Natty White Dreadlock guys who go all out for the album's.

Next up was Fade to Black, no word of a lie it actually starts with a guitar being picked and no distort, are we sure this is really Metallica?? Where is the heavy necked, gripped strumming and distort turned up to 11. This is a really chilled song, even when the distort strumming kicks in at the 2 minute mark it's a chilled song, vocally is impressive to, there is still the undertone of gruffness but it doesn't make me want to hide behind the sofa until the bad man is gone. I can be totally honest and say this is a top song, well played Mr Foxon!

Oh wait hang on here comes the tricky 4th a track called Creeping Death, back to the one dimensional hard thrash angry voice. This song just reminds me that we are all individuals and you have to respect everyone's personal taste, even if your personal taste is crap. Nothing more to say on this one.

Last song, getting close to home by this point, with my usual taste in music I can be through a full album in the 30 minute commute, jesus Mr Foxon could you have picked longer songs??? Anyway back onto point, last song - Die, Die My Darling. Best song out of the 5, it's fast but still with the metal features. I am going to call it a twisted metal, turns out in further research it's a Misfits cover, explains a lot but go to say it is an awesome cover. 

Misfits do it better though hahaha!

Conclusion - 3 very good surprises and 2 standard Metallica. Has Mr Foxon chose those 3 as they are different to everything else or are there lots of hidden gems in the 10 albums they have churned out? Maybe I should spend some time listening to them to find out, time is tight though especially as Pinky and Perky are constantly bombarding me with new music that I just 'have to listen to', what I do know though is that this is a great idea and I think we should do it again!!!

Over to Chris and Richard's 5 Jimmy Eat World songs

Before today, I described Jimmy Eat World as the musical equivalent of finding fluff in your pocket. They don't make me feel anything, a beige band, inoffensive and quite boring. Let’s see if the lad can change my mind.

First song, Believe In What You Want. This isn't going to make a fan of me. Lyrically, I'm guessing it's a moan about people who follow trends rather than, well, Believing What They Want. I like that, the song, musically isn't something I could get into, there are bands that do this kind of thing better. That said, I wouldn't switch it off.

Now, this is more like it! Second song, Blister. It’s a bit Emo, but that works for them. It’s loud and it’s catchy. I bet this song is great live. Yeah. Enjoying this, I'll add this to a playlist for driving. Reminds me of bands like Thrice or Alexisonfire, just without the growling and screaming. Ok, I'm awake. Ace!

Third song, Polaris. Great song title and I really like the album cover. First thing I notice is the production value, they must have had more money for this album. Bit of a brit-pop vibe with the music, with a different vocal approach. Still sounds like the same band, so I appreciate that, change is good. Yep, like this one too, very atmospheric.

Haven't I heard this one before? Like, wasn't this the 2nd track I listened to? Track 4 is Big Casino. It is very similar, I'm getting a Billy Talent vibe, which isn't a bad thing. I do feel like I have heard it many times before, though. Nothing special, but it's a decent track that was probably on an American teen flick.

I have definitely heard this song before. I think its on the same album as The Middle. It sounds like that ‘Salt, Sweat, Sugar’ song, that was Jimmy Eat World wasn't it? Its called The Authority Song. I'm not into this one as much. I just feel there are bands (Weezer, Alien Ant Farm, Incubus) who do this kind of thing better

This has changed my mind a bit, all their songs don't sound the same, and they are a pretty decent band. The thing I noticed most though, is the lyrics. This band are great at lyrics, I will listen to more for that reason alone. I'm very glad I took the time and gave them a chance. So thanks for that, Ricky.

So there it is, we so easily cast judgements on bands from 1 or 2 overplayed songs, sometimes it just takes a little steer to the right songs, from a fan, to introduce you to something you would previously blown off.
I have to say, listening to both playlists gave me a new insight into 2 totally different but often criticized bands. And I'm loving some of the tracks! Check them out, hope you enjoyed the read!

Thats it from us 3 this week!

Much love Michael, Richard & Chris


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