Songs from the Vault

The last installment of SFTV was a fairly relaxed and poppy after, featuring the likes of Prefab Sprout, Belinda Carlisle and Mint Royale.  I thought therefore that it might be time to ratchet things up a notch.  So hold on…

First up is Stone Cold Crazy.  Not the original from Queen’s 1974 Sheer Heart Attack album but Metallica’s version from their first live album (1993). I remember hearing this for the first time at the Freddie Mercury tribute concert and was blown away.  It still does the job…

The emergence of Pantera onto the metal scene in the early 90’s was a breath of fresh air.  Phil Anselmo’s menacing vocals and ‘Dimebag’ Darrell’s (who was fatally shot on stage in 2004) equally menacing riffs made a powerful, incendiary combination; and none more so than on this track, The Badge (another cover) from the 1994 movie The Crow.  If the double time section (at the three-minute mark) doesn’t get your heart pumping, I don’t know what will…

The early 90’s must have been a great time for metal fans because I’m sticking with that period for my third selection, Unsung (1991), the first single off Helmet’s major label debut, Meantime.  Waving the flag for so-called ‘alternative metal’, Helmet didn’t look like your typical metal band but Unsung’s staccato riffs and wall-of-sound outro was definitely a high point for the genre, whatever you want to call it…

Well, we’ve done ’93, ’94’ and ’91 so I guess we should do ’92, which is just as well as my next selection is from that year: Drunken Butterfly, from Sonic Youth’s album Dirty.  Why is this song (not the video!) so cool? Well, there’s that riff; Kim Gordon’s don’t give a **** vocals; and guitar interludes that hit you like a thermobaric bomb…

So far we’ve heard four US bands, so we’re going to stick close to home with my final selection.  PJ Harvey’s album Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea (2000) is one of the finest albums of the 2000’s and Kamikaze is one of the album’s finest tracks, sounding like the PJ Harvey of earlier albums.  Kicking off with a simple riff, and with a killer guitar tone, Harvey goes for the jugular just as you’d expect a tune called Kamikaze to…

I hope you enjoyed this edition of SFTV.  I’m thinking dream/ambient pop for the next one so keep tuned!