By Cady Colosimo
It’s been nearly 15 years since Andrew W.K.’s “Party Hard” was released, effectively capturing the spirit of the new millennium and becoming an instant classic. Since then Andrew, the self-proclaimed (and well earned) King of Partying has been quite busy. He’s put out a few more of his own albums, produced albums for others, dabbled in motivational speaking, and broke the Guinness World Record for “longest drum session in a retail store.” Now the king will be bringing his high-energy, high-fun act and music knowledge to Des Moines.
You can catch Andrew and several other music industry figures speaking Saturday, October 17th at the State Historical Building as part of the Des Moines Music Coalition’s annual Music University. You can also see the King of Partying in action when he performs at the Vaudeville Mews that night. To get you in the spirit of The DMMC’s MU, and as an exclusive for Band Bombshell, Andrew has graciously handpicked eight songs that are sure to get your blood plumping.
A New Level // Pantera
It’s an inspiring and motivating message in its main chorus lyrics about reaching a new level of confidence and power. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t want to experience those things. I certainly would like to reach a new level of confidence and power. Beyond that there’s a lot of excitement in the incredible guitar playing and the incredible drumming, the fantastic bass playing, and of course the incredible singing. It’s a really great example of what Pantera did so well, which is create a very, very energizing sensation.
Betrayed by Life // Hatebreed
This is a good follow-up to Pantera. It’s also a very energizing song with extremely engaging and physically motivating riffs. A song like this comes on and it makes your body have power. I don’t see how it would be possible to feel drowsy or low energy while listening to a song like this, at least for me. I’ve turned to Hatebreed for many years now in order to feel that sort of incredible power. To me it’s not an angry feeling, if it is anger it’s the happiest anger you could feel. It’s just pure energy.
Final Thoughts // Obituary
Again it’s just an incredible riff, incredibly pure and straightforward piece of music. It doesn’t get more direct than this. This is not about showing off, this is not about impressing anyone, this is about empowering the listener with this incredible feeling. It’s an indescribable feeling because the initial emotions you would think again: hatred, fury, rage, but it really transcends those negative feelings and turns it into something pure, and even good. It’s also a very intense concept lyrically; the idea of what would be the final thoughts before death perhaps. It’s just an incredible vocal performance by John Tardy and one of their great songs, just very, very straightforward. I don’t want to say simple, because it’s not simple to write music this pure.
The Infiltrator // Napalm Death
This is the first song off 1999 album “Words from the Exit Wound” and again it’s just completely energizing. This is a very dynamic song in terms of different tempos, different parts. Very true to form in terms of Napalm Death’s trademark abilities: certain types of drum beats that really they have made their own, sort of a signature sound, inventive guitar riffs that at the same time are very,very catchy, very melodic, and very singable, and just a vocal delivery that’s like electricity. There’s so much feeling in the vocal delivery. All the singers listed so far have unique voices, even though they’re what might be described as screaming or yelling, each one really sounds like a unique individual to me.
Necromantical Screams // Celtic Frost
It’s an unusual title and a somewhat unusual song. But again, in keeping with this tradition, it’s what would be described as heavy, but very unique. There’s an operatic female vocal, I believe it’s a female, that accompanies Tom G. Warrior, the singer’s typical heavy metal delivery. But again he has a very unique voice and it’s actually very appropriate have him included in this lineup because I believe that he was very influential to many of the singers already listed, especially perhaps Barney from Napalm Death. This album in general, the album this song was taken off is the last song on the album, and elsewhere on the album he does certain kinds of, well they’ve been described as death grunts and things like that. But it will say “hey-ey-ey” and it will say different kinds of grunts and screams from high to low, from low to high. It’s always very passionate and very intriguing, enthralling. Draws you in as a listener. It’s just great drumming, great guitar riffs and very unique guitar sound. This band really pushed themselves in many ways to kind of change the genre they’re a part of and go against many aspects of it in a very bold way. It’s just great music.
In The Grip of Winter // Autopsy
This is one of the first heavy albums that I had ever heard like this. A friend of mine brought it into high school and he let me borrow it. I was frightened, I was excited, I was a bit disgusted. When I mean disgusted I don’t mean so much as in nauseated, but I felt a strange feeling the back of my throat and kind of made my eyes water. That’s how powerful the atmosphere was on this album and I really didn’t have a lot of context, and neither did my friend who lent me the album. We didn’t really know where this was coming from or who these people were or what world this emerged from or was part of. It was very confounding and intriguing type of discovery for us, I don’t know how he found out about it. Probably went to a record store, and I think we were all very fascinated by this idea that there was a kind of music called death metal. I think we would like for things based on their album cover, title, logo and things like that once we found out there was this whole world unto itself where things like this could exist. This is also again a very unique example, this style of music. Again it’s this feeling of atmosphere that goes beyond any of the individual pieces, the individual elements. It’s more than just the guitar playing or the drums or even the production. There’s just a feeling that they stir up, and this band has a very unique feeling. I think probably something as unique as “Celtic Frost” in terms of atmosphere. It changes the feeling in the room when you listen to it and not in a bad way, just in a noticeable way.
No Love Lost // Carcass
At the time this song was released it was a pretty radical progression or move away from the sound the band had been working in for many years at that point, with very exciting results. Some people were very upset that they had gone mainstream, other people were completely excited because they appreciated how bold and daring this new approach was and the confidence it took to expand on the sound that the band had already been working in for so long. But not matter however you look at it compared to their earlier work it’s just a great riff, a really great guitar riff, fantastic production and recording. That’s what I really appreciate about it. There’s a lot of clarity they didn’t necessarily have for various reasons in their earlier recordings. It’s amazing vocal delivery, this again will be a very different sounding vocal delivery compared to any of the other singers. Another example of very independently spirited band yet staying true to this particular style of very, very, very heavy metal.
Freezing Moon // Mayhem
I picked this over a few other options because it’s just a really outlandish, really unhinged vocal performance from a really unique, really risk-taking singer. A singer who opens himself to a lot of potential ridicule for refusing to adhere to the unnecessarily tight confines of this style. His name is Attila and he’s just a incredible performer who really challenges himself and his audience to go beyond what they’re often times comfortable with, in a style that’s already pushing the limits of comfort in many ways. It’s very admirable, and once again most importantly, of all it’s just a great song with many great riffs, incredible drumming, very unique sound, and as with all these songs, a truly individual vocal approach.