“Classic Masher” is exactly that: a classic mash-up of Francis’s sublime vocals and that signature edgy, hard-rock rhythm section.
I write this weekly column to free you from the shackles of mainstream radio. Please check out the link below to my own curated Spotify station called “Five for Friday,” in which I put all of these jams and several more. Updated every Friday; you can be on the cutting edge of the new music world. Get into it.
Pixies: “Classic Masher” | Having enjoyed the series of EP’s the Pixies released in 2013 and 2014, my love for the alt-rock pioneers was reawakened. Black Francis and crew are back with their sixth studio album, Head Carrier. “Classic Masher” is exactly that: a classic mash-up of Francis’s sublime vocals and that signature edgy, hard-rock rhythm section. This song transports me back to my former life of smoking clove cigarettes and skateboarding behind strip malls. Another shining example of how true talent never dies.
The Mowgli’s: “Automatic” | At first listen, I was sure The Mowgli’s were Christian rock. Their sound is so uplifting and inspiring, I was positive I was being witnessed to, musically. But that’s not the case. The band is just one of those happy, upbeat acts that put out super-positive music. While their religious preferences may not be the focus of the music, having a good time is—and when I hear “Automatic,” I automatically drop my negativity and have a good time.
Tor Miller: “Carter & Cash” | There is an ease, a sense of relaxation in Tor Miller’s voice that I find refreshing. The Brooklyn indie-pop singer has a voice that reminds me of ’80s male crooners with a dash of Rufus Wainwright. This is stress management music, and in today’s political climate, I need all of this I can get.
Third Eye Blind: “Company of Strangers” | What I love about this track is how it flat out rocks. It starts off quiet and non-threatening, but then out of nowhere comes this wall of sound that knocks me on my ass. Plus there are Stephen Jenkins’ vocals that I have loved so much over the years. This is the type of track that would force me to fork over my cold, hard cash to see performed live.
NOFX: “I’m a Transvest-Lite” | Thirteen albums in and NOFX shows no sign of selling out or slowing down. The lyrics of this track are revealing, shocking, and very clever. I don’t want to spoil any surprises; you have to hear it to fully appreciate the unique perspective. But I will say this: Any song that references Rocky Horror Picture Show scores massive points with me.
If you want to hear these songs along with other top jams, check out my Five for Friday playlist on Spotify: 40 songs from artists you need to know—updated weekly! | Jim Ryan
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