In the latest of our series of WeAreNoise Staff Top 5′s, Scott unleashes some BIG guitar music
Ah, Top 5′s. The brain melting, guilt inducing process of narrowing so many down to so few.
Anyway, here goes, this is the Irish only top 5…or today’s at least.
1: Don’t Believe A Word – Thin Lizzy
Phil Lynott – the ultimate rocker, daddy cool incarnate, the man women wanted and men wanted to be. And by God, could he write a tune. Clocking in at a mere 2 minutes and 20 seconds, ‘Don’t Believe A Word’ is a triple distilled, no fat attached, pitch perfect piece of rock and roll awesomeness.
Another classic Lizzy track that features Brian Downey’s trademark shuffle drum-feel – the song originally began as a slow blues number before Glaswegian born guitarist Brian “Robbo” Robertson penned the killer up-tempo riff. Laid-back Californian Scott Gorham provides the Lizzy-defining twin guitar harmonies while Robertson’s wah-wah laden guitar solo is flawless. I have done the maths – next time round I need to be born in 1956 so as to be “haired and flared” in time for Lizzy.
Altogether now “Are you out there?”
2: Rory Gallagher – A Million Miles Away
The Great One Himself. As with most of Gallagher’s music this track is at its very best heard in his live recordings. The Irish Tour 1974 is the definitive performance of this song. If you do not experience a moment of pure awe and admiration when Rory hits the first big bend in the guitar solo on the intro you are, already, clinically dead, possibly. The sheer tone and emotion pouring from Rory’s guitar is nothing that has ever been matched, they were one and the same. The song itself is, as with much of Gallagher’s music, a deeply moving song about sadness, depression and isolation. Written years before these demons took their ultimate toll on him, the song now sounds sadder than ever, prophetic even, and yet, retains a glimmer of hope – “But I’ll break free, after a little while”.
3: Kerbdog – Severed
Fuck me, what a sledgehammer of a riff. What a glorious piece of angst-ridden grunge era metal.
Kilkenny based rockers Kerbdog never made “The Big-Time”, theirs is now a “What might have been” story and cult following type of affair. Listen to this track and tell me that they did not deserve to sell mega-millions stateside as per Cobain et al? Singer and guitarist Cormac Battle now floods the airwaves with hefty amounts of rock and roll as a DJ with 2FM but occasionally rounds his men at arms up for the odd tour. And, as luck would have it Kerbdog have just announced that they will play Cyprus Avenue in Cork on November the 10th. So do yourself a favour and dust off your torn denims and rock t-shirts!
4: Therapy – Screamager
Whether its the high pitched snare drum, the rattling bending riff or the propulsion of the main hook – I don’t know – but this song makes me want to turn over tables and generally wreck things. I don’t, of course, but if I wanted to I’d do it with this song as a soundtrack. A fantastic track and every time I hear it I cringe in shame. SHAME. I have never seen them live. SHAME and DOUBLE SHAME.
5: The Cranberries – Zombie
Never, ever, ever forget how utterly alternative and refreshing The Cranberries were in the mid 90′s. Forget the one or two songs that you hear on the radio. Sure, they are great songs too but this band has a hefty back catalog of alt-rock gems that never get near day-time radio. Go back now and check out the videos to “Ridiculous Thoughts”, “I Can’t Be With You” and “Salvation”, hell, they were good weren’t they? The crowning piece will always be the MTV smash that was Zombie though – remember when there was only one MTV and it was an alternative music channel – and actually did play music only (Beavis and Butthead aside)? Well, Zombie was on constant rotation in between Nirvana unplugged and Beck. Happy days.