For those of us behind on the times a bit, shuffling through CDs during a drive to work or school is pretty high on the list of unsafe things for you to be doing while commandeering a moving vehicle. It is even more unsafe when it’s dark out and you have to completely guess at what you might be putting in – especially if you have a lot of unmarked discs on a spool. Given the random chance of picking practically anything, my late night drives home have garnered some interesting, yet much needed reminders of some songs I’ve somehow neglected in my current rotation of driving music. This week’s 3 of the Week is quite simple – songs stumbled upon while literally trying to find something to listen to on a late night drive home.
1. “Miami Nights” – Lower Definition
The story of Lower D is not one fans of the band enjoy reliving, especially considering the ending. But on their full-length The Greatest of All Lost Arts, this band was firing on all cylinders with their melodically slathered, breakdown-filled attack that was both catchy and thoughtfully constructed. This third track on the disc runs the gamut in terms of sound for the band, mixing a lush introduction with driving drums as the track morphs into winding melodies with a crisp rhythm section to back it. While the rebirth of the band has only left question marks around an apparent second disbanding, this record is a sure reminder of the promise they once had.
2. “Belt” – Say Anything
Though …Is A Real Boy has found a place among underground folklore, it is important to remember that this record came out in 2004. We can argue all day about which record is better, but this one set the groundwork for what Max Bemis and company would create over the next seven years. This track opened the album with catchy, gritty guitars and Bemis’ appealingly narcissistic vocals. It was the start of an album ripe with addictive melodies, memorable lyricism and strong songwriting – an album that has certainly stood the test of time for both new and old fans of the band.
3. “Whoa! Shut It Down!” – The Acacia Strain
Though the band’s latest work Wormwood has seen plenty of spins in the past year, the band’s older work is no stranger to my ears. After hearing such songs during their stint on the now defunct Sounds of the Underground Tour, it is certainly a different ballgame to jump back two albums. Although the lyrical content isn’t much different, musically TAS was a bit more raw and a little more unpredictable in their writing, with this track in particular becoming a fan favorite over the years. Given the dark atmosphere of the record, this was a particularly interesting one to stumble upon during a late night drive.