"I've escaped it, a life wasted/And I'm never going back again." - Pearl Jam, "Life Wasted"

Friday, April 01, 2005

Top 15 Modern Rock songs

I like music, and I like music lists. So I'm gonna use this blog to list some of my favourite songs. I've split them into different genres, cuz it's easier.

To kick things off, let's start with this new kind of post-Nirvana rock. Rumbling guitars, mixed with some rap, lots of anger. Many bands are not my cup of tea, but some songs stand out for their sheer impact. Here's 15 definitive modern rock tracks.

15 Deftones - Be Quiet And Drive (Far Away)
Some serious dissonance to begin the song with, then - sheer simplicity. I can't believe how simple the riff is, and how huge it sounds. The whole song banks on that riff alone, and it packs a mean groove. Spine-tingling moment: You think the song is over, and then the band crashes back in again.

14 Hoobastank - The Reason
The moment of triumph from a so-so band. Everything clicks effortlessly - the riff, the melody, and the lyrics. One of the rare modern rock tracks that is hummable. Spine-tingling moment: The bridge: "And the reason is you...."

13 Incubus - Wish You Were Here
Another great effort from a mediocre band. At least they come up with very interesting guitar lines, and a made-for-arena-singalong chorus on this one. Spine-tingling moment: When the chiming guitars come in just before the first verse. Dreamy.

12 Chevelle - The Red
Lead singer Pete Loefler has a unique voice that carries this song aloft for longer than it should. Spine-tingling moment: When Pete launches into the final frenzy: "Seeing red again!!!!!"

11 Papa Roach - Between Angels And Insects
Modern rock is guilty of producing cliche-ridden bands, and Papa Roach is a typical, run-of-the-mill band of this genre - except on this supremely pissed-off track. "Last Resort" may be their breakthrough hit, but this one packs a mighty wallop from start till end. Listen to the band's brutal but economical interplay to hit home the chorus, and I wonder why they can't come up with more. Spine-tingling moment: That vulgar-ridden but utterly satisfying final chorus.

10 Andrew WK - Party Hard
The only song in this list that is not pissed off. Gleeful declaration to, what else, party hard. Kicks in like a breath of fresh air among the gloomy other bands. A pity all his other songs sound the same, and repeats the same theme. Spine-tingling moment: The robotic introduction: "When it's time to party, we will party hard", and the monstrous guitars kick in.

9 Limp Bizkit - Re-arranged
No other modern rock band self-destructed like Limp Bizkit. Guitarist Wes Borland knew Fred Durst will kill the band, so he bailed out - wisely. But not before he came up with this fiendishly inventive riff that complemented the band's most introspective song. I spent a few hours trying this riff, and gave up. Spine-tingling moment: Instead of loud, the chorus goes soft, the guitars quieten to a gurgle, and Durst mumbles threateningly: "You and me are through, and re-arranged."

8 Staind - It's Been Awhile
This song reminds me of a good time, ironically. I was on a three-week vacation in USA, met up with a long-time friend, and cruised together down the pacific highway to this song, which was played to death on radio. Memories aside, modern rock never sounded so wounded. Spine-tingling moment: After the storm, when the acoustic guitar fades in for one last time.

7 Creed - Torn
Here's another band that self-destructed because of internal strife, and a cringe-inducing frontman. But before all the overblown self-righteousness, they were a superb band, capable of moody, tension-filled epics such as this. Spine-tingling moment: Mark Tremonti is modern rock's rare sonic architect, coming up with memorable riffs with ease. His opening riff is sheer brilliance.

6 Linkin Park - Crawling
Wanna know the secret to Linkin Park's success? It's Chester Bennington's voice, or rather, his scream. It's the best wail since Soundgarden's Chris Cornell - edgy, pissed-off, and with a voice on the verge of tearing into shreds. Wisely, Bennington is economical with his gift, as on this track. So when he launches into the chorus, you can't help but like this lightweight modern rock band. Spine-tingling moment: Just before the chorus, when Bennington's anger reaches boiling point: "SO INSECURE!!!!"

5 Queens Of The Stone Age - No One Knows
Hands down, the best modern rock riff of this decade. Supremely groovy. Spine-tingling moment: What else?

4 Audioslave - Like A Stone
Trust veterans to come up with a classic. The musical force of Rage Against The Machine married with the lung-bursting vocals of Soundgarden's Chris Cornell. Yet on this utterly beautiful track, the quartet have never sounded so subdued. A triumph of moody introspection. Spine-tingling moment: There are plenty in this, but none as tragic as when Cornell sings: "I'll wait for you there like a stone, I'll wait for you there alone."

3 Foo Fighters - Times Like These
Dave Grohl's band whips up memorable songs better than any modern rock outfit, and this song sums up everything good about rock today. An ear-catching riff, some wicked rhythms, a soaring verse and a chorus that seethes with determination to triumph in every adversity. Majestic. Spine-tingling moment: Exhausted after the screaming, Grohl still would not let go of the chorus at the end, and whispers: "It's times like these you learn to live again." Overwhelming.

2 Rage Against The Machine - Bulls On Parade
The prototypical modern rock song from its most inventive and political band. Don't really care what Zack de la Rocha is ranting about, but the sound is awesome. There are about five riffs in the song, all are gut-wrenching and innovative. Then it's THE guitar solo - 30 seconds of hip-hop scratching, as imitated by Tom Morello on his guitar. Sheer magic. Throw in the angry rapping, and it will detonate on your speakers. Spine-tingling moment: For the studio version, it's the solo. For the live version, check out the long synth intro before the band tumbles in. Breath-taking.

1 System Of A Down - Prison Song
This song got me speechless on the first spin. What was that???? Combining political rap-ranting, a galloping thrash-metal riff, some death metal grunts and strange guitar noodlings, Serj Tankian and gang WILL mow you down with this utterly incendiary track. Listen to him rage at drug policies in the middle break, it makes other modern rock bands sound like a wuss. Listen to the band's outrageous dexterity, and all other bands seem one-dimensional at best. It simply leaves other songs in the dust. Spine-tingling moment: The intro, the verse, the chorus, the middle break, the end.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, you really like wussy music

11:01 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

dude, half your songs i have never heard of, get some real music tastes

7:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

mmmmm , by modern you mean commercial mtv crappy " rock " .... if you 2 please dont call yourself a rocker, mmmm try some maiden, lamb of god, agalloch .... then will talk

12:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

STFU go listen to some metal and cutg ur self fag :o talking to first comment :S

4:27 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

there r diff kinds of rock.so dnt assume to be a rocker urself when u canot listen to all types of rock music hell yah!deftones rock!

2:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think this man has good taste
well i dont like this list
but i like soad so its cool

8:49 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

rage is sick as fuck too, actually better than soad imo

8:49 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

all you fucks need to leave the kid alone. everyone likes what they like.... don't gotta main stream shit to be good you douches :D

10:31 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did u even know what modern rock is..?

12:29 AM


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