Author: Ian Stewart
Read Time: 6-7 minutes, 873 words
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When my good friend Ian Morgan suggested that we do a weekly top five list, I was completely on board with it. Mainly, because my first thought was “That’s High Fidelity as fuck!” But once I began thinking about potential lists, it soon became apparent that I may struggle for material. I’m not a person with specific tastes, someone who has a wealth of knowledge in specific subjects, I’m very much a person who tries the buffet of life – a little bit of everything. So, you should know that a great deal of thought has gone in to each of my lists.
Today, I’m starting easy. Music is a huge part of the lives of the FBC crew, there’s been a time where we have lived and breathed music, our lives are still set to a soundtrack. Mid-week is generally a time where we catch sight of the weekend on the horizon, and we gently drift on the tide to get there. So here are my favourite songs to listen to on a Wednesday evening.
5 - Dry Out by Choke Up
Choke Up are a punk band from Boston who are massively underrated and pretty much unknown in Scotland, this is something that baffles me. Their album “Black Coffee, Bad Habits” was hands down, for me, the best album of 2015 and still one that I listen to regularly. I think most of my friends do as well, after I rammed it down their throats at every opportunity. The album itself may be excellent for your gym workouts, but this track is a contrast to the faster punk sound they have mastered. It’s an acoustic effort, ideal for letting all the stress in your life fall from your bones like you’ve been hit by an A-bomb full of Valium.
4 – I Don’t Want Solidarity If It Means Holding Hands with You by Defiance, Ohio
The thing that I love most about this song is the lyrics. The only way I can describe them is poetry, and with lines like “And they say that the beauty’s in the streets but when I look around, it seems more like defeat” How could you not? When I focus on the words, my mind becomes a vivid world of inspiration. The music itself is a perfect example of Folk Punk, clean guitars, violin, melodies and a chorus hook that punctures you deep in the heart, set to a tempo that cannot be mistook for anything other than Punk.
3 – Nutshell (Unplugged) by Alice in Chains
This song is probably my favourite unplugged track by Alice in Chains. As amazing as the album version is, this offers a more haunting sound and hearing the crowd applaud and cheer as Layne appears on stage never fails to give me goosebumps. This is the only song I’ve ever heard live that had me so overwhelmed by emotion, that I couldn’t physically stand up, and felt something in my throat. It is perfect for those spring evenings, where you sit looking out the window at tomorrow.
2 – Forever Longing the Golden Sunsets by The Appleseed Cast
Alt-Rock at it’s finest! This track is the first Appleseed Cast song I ever heard, circa 2004. It remains one of my all-time favourites, and each listen takes me back to a time where I would take a seven-hour train journey just to spend one day with the girl I would eventually marry, and this song was always playing in my ears as I travelled. I was lucky enough to see them live in Glasgow, with Ian Morgan, front-row centre. They are another band I am stunned have not achieved more success. They are simply a band who never fail to deliver, are musically genius, one who provides us with complex instrumentation and the best melodies I’ve ever heard.
1 – Wasted Daze of Youth by Beach Slang
Ah, Beach Slang. I feel as though I could write a Top 5 list in any setting and include nothing but tracks by this band – they truly have it all. I could have genuinely picked any of their tracks for this list, but this is the one that stands out for me and frequently makes its way on to my playlists. They’re not a band who can be confined solely to your Wednesday’s, but should be the soundtrack to your life, because no matter how you’re feeling, Beach Slang will be there for you. Punk never felt so honest. James Alex’s lyrics in this song are like a time machine, one that transports us back to youthful days whose memories echo inside our brains, back to a time where we discovered new emotions that felt larger than they do now, back to that first feeling of love that twisted your heart, guts, and brain, back to the days where you hurt in a good way, but never really noticed at the time. Beach Slang are the perfect band to romanticise about past lives, wild love, old friends, and being at the start ready to do it all. James Alex was the icon we all needed as teenagers, but not nearly as much as we need him now.
Ian Stewart is on Twitter: @GutterKid101