Riff Of The Week: Bendy Edition


You say vibrato,
I say vibrato,
let’s call pull the whole thing off

Before we get bent up outta shape, let’s take a look at the results from last week’s Unpronouncable Edition. Seems a heap of you agree that while Havukruunu‘s “Jo näkyvi pohjan portit” was not easy to pronounce, it was easily the Riff of the Week. Also noted that 88.7% of you agreed that no matter if you pronounce it Thin Lizzy or Tin Lizzy (as was suggested by Doug), it’s still one of the first words taught to pet parakeets by toothless toddlers in countries ranked 38th and below in the OECD index.

This week we asked for bendy riffs and/or riffs that give you the bends. So before any of you instrumental33tists get all “ahkshually, that riff has no bent notes”, remember to don’t. Just don’t. After all, I have to at least put up a façade of being inclusive here sometimes and wanted to give those who don’t play an instrument a chance to submit too. The reason I thought this would be a good theme was that [short anecdote warning] my friend recently went to a wedding in Thailand and got the bends. How do you get the bends, you ask? One way of acquiring this grave illness is through listening to Radiohead more than once. First symptoms include wearing cardigans while under retirement age, using any order of the words “generation” “innovative” “artist” & “Thom” together in a sentence, and unjustified bouts of chronic euphoria. I’m sure some of you think I’m being unjustly cruel to Radiohead and their fans, but I can assure you it’s just. The only time it’s socially acceptable to voluntarily listen to a Radiohead song is if you play their unused theme song for the film Spectre instead of that A-grade Kentucky horseshit Sam Smith track. And should you decide to do that, don’t tell anyone about it.

So on the second day of a week-long holiday leading up to the overseas wedding my friend and his wife went on a deep-sea dive in some Asiatic waters. They’re both qualified divers and have been on many dives all over the world, filming big-arse sharks, big-arse turtles, big-arse coral, big-arse floating masses of plastic waste, and other indeteminate things that are of intermediate-arse size. Anyway, proving that the gods hate science and/or the entire concept of marriage, something went wrong with the depressurisation process and he ended up in a critical condition in a dank Thai hospital for essentially the whole week, missing the wedding and being told it’s risky for him to ever dive again. Now I don’t know exactly what went wrong, maybe he came up too quick during one of the stages or maybe his gas mix was off, all I know is if we all studied bathymetry in school instead of some useless shit like maths, we’d be better as a society. All I’m saying is you might think the invisible hand can safely guide an economy but Poseidon thinks free-market libertarians can blow a syphalitic manatee and will drown you at will. Don’t forget to use the PROMO CODE CLAM after voting to get 15% less by-catch urine in your next glass of Clamato juice.


Converge – “Sadness Comes Home” (Riff @ 0:00)

It’s from the newest Converge. You know what to expect.


Motörhead – “One Short Life” (Riff @ 0:00)

This baby comes swingin’ right out the gate with some glorious bending riffage.
As soon as you hit play, you feel like chainsmoking and guzzling Jack Daniels straight out of the bottle.  I mean, what else would you expect from the mighty Motörhead, right?  Don’t be a poser.  Pick this riff.

Jimmy McNulty

Suffering Hour – “Devouring Shapeless Void” (Riff @ 7:14)

Suffering Hour has released a stellar album this year (my song is “Devouring Shapeless Void” and starts at 7:14 in this full album stream). Honestly I don’t know what constitutes a bendy riff… but what I do know is that the bendy riff showcased here is the bendiest and winningest riff ov the week. Bend it like Bender!


Jeff Loomis – “Sibylline Origin” (Riff @ 0:00)

The second I read the word “bend” was the same second this riff popped into my head.  From that massive opening “BWAAAAAOW”, you know that Loomis means business. Get some.


Ulcerate – ”               ” (Riff @ 0:32)

My immediate thought was to submit Tenacious D’s One Note Song. After thinking about the bends I went with this opening riff. Ulcerate are masters at making the listener feel uncomfortable. Prepare to feel like you downed an inordinate amount of bargain sushi and are in that beautiful twilight state of unease, not knowing which end it will come out of faster. Riff starts at 0:32 if youre impatient.


Sunless – “Aberrant Clime” (Riff @ 1:31)

Sunless are one of those bands where it’s hard to really pinpoint individual riffs; it’s more a collection of arid, primordial, angry guitar noises. “Aberrant Clime” lives up to its namesake with a particularly sweltering passage that starts at 1:31 with some tasty, tasty bends hitting at 1:45, 2:03, 2:21. Check it out and lose yourself in the haze. -Spear


Wormlust – “Djöflasýra” (Riff @ 0:00)

I was thinking of submitting a riff by a band whose name starts with S. Then I thought maybe T or J. Briefly, oh so briefly, I considered Y. Then I went with my original gut instinct: W. So here is a riff by W(ormlust). Self, meet your Anti-Self. Say hello. Now say goodbye. To the universe. At 0:00

Positronic Brain

Miserist – “Skin, Mold & Flame” (Riff @ 0:45)

I actually didn’t know what “the bends” was/were; I originally thought it had something to do with gettin’ the shits, but it turns out it’s something that can happen when you ascend from deep water. 0:45 sounds like you’re being violently drowned or something, so I can imagine getting decompression sickness after surviving such a harrowing experience at the hands this here gnarly fuckin’ riff.


Pestilence – “Prophetic Revelations” (Riff @ 0:00)

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Next week we’re looking for riffs from instrumental songs. That means no lyrics at all. No fucking computer voice-over intros, no spoken word interludes, no fucking words. Send your entries to toiletovhellriff@gmail.com including your screen-name, a link to the track, a time-stamp of the riff, and a short description by Friday.

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