Song of the Week: Ride On by AC/DC

RideOnBon1

By Franz

When I was ten years old, I saw the Simpsons Halloween special, I can’t remember what season, it wasn’t the greatest Simpsons episode ever, but it did have something that changed my life. Hearing AC/DC’s Highway to Hell for the first time. After that I became a huge fan of the band and continued calling it my favorite band of all time for some years. I bought all their records, even the Australian-exclusive early stuff I somehow found at a flee-market. I fell in love, but like any first love, it slowly faded away. While even to this day I can listen to them and feel joy, it’s just not the same. Yes, they’re a very repetitive band and all of their records are the same fucking thing, but maybe it’s the constant stream of them that I have the ability to really separate songs from their albums. Anyway, where I’m going with this is, while they’re a very repetitive band, there’s one song from their fantastic 1976 album Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap that sticks out like a beautiful sore thumb. It’s of course, Ride On.

AC/DC formed in 1973 Australia by two Scotsmen, Angus and Malcolm Young. Two years later they released their first international album High Voltage, with the members being Bon Scott on the vocals, Phil Rudd in the drums, some dude on the bass and the Young brothers in the guitars. It’s a fine album, one of their best actually. It has huge amount of energy and raw-ness to it, it feels like a watered down, more straight-forward rock version of The Stooges, but it works. Anyway, after that they kicked off the dude in the bass and replaced him with Cliff Williams, a gold haired tall fucker.

1976 came and so did their second album, one of their most famous, Dirty Deed Done Dirt Cheap. It’s again a fantastic piece, but I’ve never considered it their finest. Sure it has some amazing tracks, but also a lot of filler like Squeler and the silly dick-joke song Big Balls (which is a guilty pleasure of mine). But the second to last song on the track is one of the finest ones they made, it’s a weird song from them, because they really have never made a song before or after that. Anyway, it’s Ride On.

What is AC/DC known for? Fast, energetic power chords with the basic drum beat and lyrics about fucking, drinking and “good times”. So, Ride On is just like that? No, actually. It has a slow build up, with mellow, slow chords with a blues-y solos and lyrics about just wanting to quit the rock-cliche lifestyle. Yeah, that’s pretty weird from a band that has made the same album forty years in a row. Like I said, the song sticks out like a sore thumb, they have never been this melancholy and “deep”. While it’s a sore thumb, it’s a fantastic, brilliant thumb as well.

I absolutely love this song. Even if I’m not a huge fan of theirs anymore and can’t sit through their latest albums without yawning, I can listen to this song forever. Bon Scott’s sorrowful vocals and the lyrics about just relaxing for a bit, leaving the drinking and womanizing for a little while to realize just how hollow, lonely and miserable life can be. It’s probably Scott’s most personal song, singing about his self-destroying lifestyle that eventually killed him. AC/DC isn’t known for their lyrical masterpieces, but these are quite fantastic. He sings about how everything in his life is getting him down, which is a blues cliche, but then he starts singing about just how lonely his life is and how he doesn’t want to do it anymore and how he just wants to explode but he just keeps riding on, or keep on living.

While I love the lyrics and Scott’s vocals, where this song really shines is the music. Okay, the drums are just the same old tired beat that Phil “The convicted killer/cocaine addict” Rudd plays in every song, but the soft bass line and holy shit the guitars. The Young brothers always speak about how influenced they are by blues, but you rarely actually hear it in their songs. They’re a lot more Rolling Stones, than Robert Johnson. But here, it’s very clear, though there is a modern, more rock touch to it. The soft, lingering chords that amplify the already moody, somewhat melancholy, but ultimately simply relaxing atmosphere. And when the solo hits, it’s just perfect. So wonderfully played, balancing on the edge of a normal hard rock solo, but it has enough melody and rhythm to keep it in it’s blues roots. The giant, almost bombastic build up to the soft, chill as fuck chorus is fucking amazing.

Overall, the song is a slow, atmospheric song about being tired of the self-destructive lifestyle and wanting to change and get away the loneliness and misery of reality. And the music is perfect for it, at times sad, but mostly relaxing and optimistic. It’s a great fucking song, even if you’re not a fan of the band, you should absolutely check this gem out.

Last words on the band

My favorite album by them is their 1977 Let There Be Rock with it’s high octane, energetic sound that influenced a bunch of thrash metal bands and punk bands. It’sĀ one of the finest rock albums ever and I was considering on reviewing Whole Lotta Rosie instead, since it’s quite possibly my favorite by them, but I decided to pick this, since it’s a lot more unique and interesting to talk about. I don’t think AC/DC is an amazing band by any means, but they have a special place in my heart. Like Dirty Harry (1971), they’re not the greatest band in the world, but they introduced me to so much more. After Dirty Harry, I saw films more than simple entertainments, as art and after AC/DC I started to really experiment with different style of music and I became a huge music buff. So, while a lot of people think AC/DC is a repetitive, boring band, I can agree to some degree, but they’re still awesome, maybe because of the nostalgia.

 

Song of the week: Sparrows by No Bird Sing

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By Patrick

Hello, and welcome to TwoSimpleWriters’ Song Of The Week, this week we review Sparrows by No Bird Sing. No Bird Sing is a hip-hop group from Minnesota, they have released three albums. Sparrows is a song from their self-titled album released in 2009.

Sparrows feels like Kristoff Krane and Joe Horton are having a dialog, exchanging feelings of empyness and sadness. Sparrows to me feels like a metaphor for somekind of a cure to these feelings of emptyness.

“There’s nothing to know, there’s no one to miss, The longer I roam the colder it gets, Alone; slowly I grow with a hole in my chest, the size of my head”

The author feels like he is missing something important in his life. “I grow with a hole in my chest, the size of my head” could mean that as the author lost his heart (or something else important from the inside), he also lost a part of his thoughts (like love).

“Take it in, breathe it out, Let the sparrows in your house, Show them where the attic is and let them be to set up shop, Watch them sing, while you dance, While you’re cooking, while you break shit, Never let them go, it’s their escape, they’re escaping”

The author suggests to let the sparrows in to your head (attic), so the sparrows can sing (heal) for you no matter what happens. So the sparrows are pretty much something like guardian angels.

Joe Horton and Kristoff Krane both have great flow and a strong balanced voice. Kristoff Krane is one of my favorite hip-hop lyricist and Sparrows is really Krane-ish, in a good way of course. Sparrows is written in a poetic and abstract style, i expecially like the dialog-ish style where Horton and Krane go back and fourth. More than ofter I find myself humming along with the chorus as it is so well crafted and catchy. The beat is also incredible, it has the perfect amount of tension and it builds up beatifully to the chorus.

Overall this is one of the best No Bird Sing songs, the beautiful beat and lyrics create a captivating atmosphere that brings you back you to this song time after another.

Listen to the song here:
Click this

No Bird Sings Facebook:
https://facebook.com/nobirdsing/

Song of the week: L’Enfant Sauvage – Gojira

*Yay, a new post. I know we’ve been very in-active, but we’re trying to keep this blog alive, so Patrick decided to do these Song of the weeks every Monday and yes, I realize it’s Tuesday, but expect them to come out on Mondays. Anyway, enjoy*

By Patrick

Welcome to SHM’s song of the week. This weeks song is L’Enfant Sauvage from Gojira. Song suggestions will be greatly appreciated. – Patrick

Gojira is a metal band from Ondres, France. Gojira was started as Godzilla in 1996, but changed it’s name to Gojira in 2001 due legal issues. Gojira is known for it’s spiritual and enviromental themes. L’Enfant Sauvage was released with Roadrunner Records in 2012, it was Gojiras fifth album. L’Enfant Sauvage translates to “The Wild Child.”

Gojiras lyrics are often written in a poetic style, dealing with environmental and spiritual issues. L’Enfant Sauvage is on the surface about god, a creator, somebody who created life but forgot give life to her- or himself.

“Betrayed your child with desire, but you wont attempt to reveal yourself.”

But i think it’s too obvious, I think L’Enfant Sauvage is deeper than that. I don’t think it’s about anything specific, I feel like the song is about wasting life. The author has hurt, lost or gave up on something important, he isn’t in pain but he regrets the wasted time. The lost passion for something (faith, music?) is the reason he owns himself life.

“I’ve killed a part of me that was aching. The pain is gone, But denial runaway from institutions, I owe my self life.”

Gojira unites many different genres like melodic death metal, progressive and groove metal. The verses low-key guitar line creates a chilling atmosphere and gives vocalization the spotlight. L’Enfant Sauvage twists and turns from clean groovy guitar scheme into a hard pounding guitar riff segway and back again. The song is building up to an amazing breakdown at the end then the the track cuts into a muffled version of the verses guitar scheme, leaving us haunted and craving for more. Joseph Duplantiers vocals are a mix of death metal growling and clean vocals, he growls so you can hear the words without loosing the heavy and threatening sound. Gojira is beautifully honest, they give you the most intense kiss while also kicking you in the balls.