Think Tank: Bad Mood Therapy
Every single one of us has to endure a stretch of days where, for one reason or another, things just do not go right. Some people handle it better than others. My own personal method is to medicate with music daily and add in a few beers for flavor on the weekend. For those of you in a rotten mood who need a little something to calm you down, I recommend you embrace those negative feels and counter them with negative music. Here are my go-to’s for when I find my self in a bad place mentally. It helps by making it worse.
Architect – “Broke Dick Dog”
Not to be confused with the UK band Architects, Architect was/may still be a sludgy hardcore band from NY, and the only two albums they released are capable of firing you up so much that you’ll have enough rage to put your fist through a brick wall. Busting through the sheet rock is for mortals; this is the stuff here that will make you superhuman. My favorite track from their debut, All Is Not Lost, “Broke Dick Dog” is blatantly heavy for all the right reasons. The vocals repeatedly use the phrase “You are not going to make it,” and that phrase reaches its climax at the end of track when they build it all up for one last go around into a flurry of feedback and crushing devastation. Thanks for reminding me that I’m not going to make it Architect. I knew that already, but reassurances are always welcome.
Cursed – “Friends In The Music Business”
When I want to smash my head into the computer monitor repeatedly, I counter that by putting on some Cursed. This a group that I didn’t truly embrace until after they disbanded. They were a band that is not only great musically, but lyrically as well. When music and lyrics team up together, it can easily elevate a song to a higher level of enjoyment. Cursed has a knack for providing sharply worded sociopolitical commentary on whatever subject they chose to tackle in their songs. “Friends In The Music Business” always cheers me up with its harsh sludginess and pointed words about what its like to be the music industry’s bitch. Cursed typically play a style of hardcore punk n’ roll with a strong Motorhead influence, but this song is a bit out of character for them musically, as it belongs in any conversation where the subject is “the heaviest song you ever heard.” This is one of the first things I put on when I’m feeling all kinds of rotten.
Early Graves – Goner
This is an album that speaks to me. I’m particularly fond of this album because of the way it was intentionally recorded. At the time of its release in 2010, going for the more pristine style of production was the in thing. Early Graves had no desire to follow the trends, so they did exactly the opposite of industry standards. Goner was recorded using a reel to reel recording in an effort to sound as filthy as possible. The result is a beyond pissed rager that devours anything and everything in its path, the definition of being consumed. It’s dirty, crusty, filth-ridden stylings are a comfort to me because I know all is not well in my current mental state, and getting confirmation of that fact is peace of mind for me. Points of interest include the title track and opener “Goner,” “May Day,” “Bastard Tears” and my personal favorite, “Give Up.” The aggression that this album exudes is aided by the aforementioned intentionally cruddy recording, the unmistakeable energy in the musical performances and lastly the vocals of the late Makh Daniels, the final element that puts this album on another level for me.
Gaza – I Don’t Care Where I Go When I Die
There is nothing in the world that is more oppressive, hate-filled and hopeless than this record. Time will tell if Cult Leader surpasses this as their career progresses, but for now, IDCWIGWID is hands down the ugliest album out there. There is nothing but dread throughout its entire runtime. It sounds awful, it feels awful and that brings me great joy. Gaza drags me down deep into the depths of all things vile, despicable and morbid. It haunts you without the use of subtle moments of calm and gets in your face with its lethal concoction of grind, sludge and doom; all served on a platter of chaotic hardcore. I must admit that I did not like this album at first, and it’s the true definition of a grower. There’s plenty to lure you in upon first listen, but it’s only when you go back for more that this one starts to get its hooks into you. Tracks to impale yourself on: “Calf,” “Sire,” “Hospital Fat Bags,” “Gristle,” “Pork Finder,” or maybe just the whole god damn thing. If I’m still not fulfilled, then I’ll bump He Is Never Coming Back and No Absolutes In Human Suffering because they hit the spot as well.
What is your coping mechanism when the shit goes down and you’re in a foul mood? Do you counter your feelings with equally aggressive music or do you resort to Dancing On The Ceiling like Lionel Richie? Share your pain and/or joy in the comments below.