Riff ov the Week: The Out-of-Place Edition
Listen, you big ol’ buttholes. My sister and her husband are in town and they want to go to the nickle arcade, so I’m about to go piss all the money I have (exactly 16 nickles) into the Black Knight 2000 pinball machine. I gotta make this quick again.
Last week, the Tapir took it home with a nasty old-school classic. Pestilence is a worthy winner. Well voted, my friends. And well chosen, m’Tapir.
- Joe and W. have conspired against me and decided that next week we will only accept riffs from songs about pot. We will call this fucking abomination “Spliff ov the Week.” If you submit Dopesmoker, you’re a predictable dum-dum.
- Send your riffs to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, a link, the time of the riff, and a description.
- If you have an idea for a theme, let me know.
It’s been a while since I’ve jerked Shadowstrike off around these parts, so I saw this edition as an opportunity. After reveling in over-the-top bombast for over four minutes, things start to build — starting at 4:20 — into what the power metal-versed (nerds) would expect to be a glorious climax of molten cheese. Instead they drop into a groovy, brazenly non-power metal, almost stoner-doomy stomp (4:51). So, there’s that.
“Money for Nothing” sounds like pretty much every single Acacia Strain song: drop-E chugs of varying quality with a very angry man bellowing atop. At 0:50 the band comes in out of nowhere with a straight country-fried Southern rock riff that kicks more ass than pretty much their entire discography combined. Why was this a B-side? More like this plz.
At 3:10, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum go from a regular ol’ Rob Zombie hard rock riff to full-blown nightmarish skronk. It’s freaky.
Hear me out. It’s 1970 and you just got this vinyl with a creepy cover art. Not knowing entirely what to expect, you put it on, and as the patient, entrancing track develops you think to yourself, “Dude, this shit is creepy af bro. It’s slow, too. Shit.”, Or whatever language people thought in in the late 60s. All of a sudden, when the track hits the 4:39 mark, a brief moment of silence is interrupted by a mighty, almost galloping riff. Mind. Blown.
Alchemist were the kings of the out of place riff. The first 2 minutes of “Soul Return” is a stark contrast of death metal into some trippy chilled noodling at the 2:15 mark, this carries on for about 3 minutes where the distortion kicks back in and the riffs get even more tastier and trippier until the end of the song.I know it’s a big ask to get you to set aside a full 8:15 to listen to the song in its entirety when there’s so many riffs to listen to but I highly recommend that you do here so you can take in the full majesty of this song. Vote Nuge!
Everything’s rolling along nicely as Antigama is hammering away at you with their futuristic space grind. Then out of nowhere at 1:50, a great riff starts buttering you up only to confuse the shit out of you when some strange incarnation of Les Claypool starts skeetin’ and skatin’ over the riff. It’s totally out of left field yet it all makes sense when Antigama returns to normal and does the same riff proper.
You will probably wonder why I submitted this. It’s well established that Adema is a trash nu-butt rock band, but that’s exactly why I submitted it. It’s not by any means a good riff, but it is the most out-of-place, unexpected riff/section I’ve heard, which is this week’s criteria. Honestly though, what the fuck is a death metal riff/section, complete with blast beats, doing in a song by the NSYNC of nu-buttz hard rock? INB4 “Shabubu Plz! I love Adema!” 1:20.
If ever there were a square riff in a round hole, this is it. We’re blasting away with Bosse-de-Nage‘s signature bright and hectic post-blackness for a good minute forty and then BLAM — everything drops away and this plonky bass starts laying down a bittersweet line like something out of 90’s indie rock tune, soon to be joined by plaintive guitars and some uncharacteristically laid-back drumming. After a minute or so the riff returns to the Nowhere from whence it came, and the blasting resumes as if nothing at all has gone awry. By all known science and math this transition should not work. But it does, and it is a prime example of what makes B-d-N such a daring force to be reckoned with. For maximum “Huh?” effect, begin around 1:30.
“Limits To Infinity” starts off with you standard melodeath fare but when the pre-chorus and chorus kick in, Scar Symmetry pull a play directly out of the glam rock handbook. What the WTF? Somehow it works though. Odd riff starts at 1:08 but listen to the riffs before to get a feel of how wacky it really is.
The bulk of the song delivers Necrophagist’s typical brand of kick-ass tech-death awesomeness. All of a sudden, at about 3:38, a descending riff transitions the song into a strange reggae-sounding section with a slightly discordant, tipsy guitar line reminiscent of a tune from the Duck Tales Nintendo game. Like a girl fart, this section of the song always surprises me.