"To die by your side is such a heavenly way to die"

Dec 29, 2004

The Bottom Line ...

It seems to be sort of a tradition for reviewers at Epinions to exchange mix CDs or tapes. The risk with sending a mix is that the person who receives it might hate it and trash it in a review. That was the dilemma I faced recently. You see, a few days/weeks/months back, I received two mix tapes from one of my very favourite Epinionaters, Andy (you too can be one of my very favourite Epinionaters if you send me a mix). In return, I crafted a horrific CD, although I did manage to leave "Your Mother's Got A Penis" off, so it could have been worse. But that's a story for Andy's review. Right now, here are my thoughts on the mix titled "To die by your side is such a heavenly way to die" (a phrase I hear often from my many admirers).

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - "Spread Your Love"
Things get off to a good start with "Spread Your Love" by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, a band I'd heard of but not actually heard. The song has a fantastic bass-driven intro, with some pounding drums soon joining in. Bouncy drum fills, distorted guitar, and that bass all add up to make one great little track. This song convinced me to get one of their albums (ironically, not the one this song's on), and it's great too.

Interpol - "Evil"
Yay! A band I'd actually heard (and liked) prior to hearing this mix! "Evil" starts out really quietly, but then things speed up with some pounding drums and awesome bass hooks. I didn't really like this song when I first heard it, but now I love it.

Muse - "Hysteria"
This was the only Muse song I'd heard, and I had hoped Andy would choose a song I hadn't heard for the mix. It's okay that he didn't, though, because I absolutely love "Hysteria"! An amazing buzzy bass riff carries the song, and there's some cool distorted guitar work. The singer sounds kinda like Thom Yorke from Radiohead, not only in this song, but in a lot of the songs on their CD Absolution (yup, another CD this mix made me buy).

Modest Mouse - "Dark Centre of the Universe"
Honestly, I never understood why Modest Mouse is (are?) so popular. I know they're not the worst band out there (far from it), but none of their singles had really impressed me. That being said, I find myself liking "Dark Centre of the Universe" quite a bit. I mean, it has lyrics like "Well it took a lot of work to be the ass I am/ and I'm pretty damn sure that anyone can/ equally easily fuck you over."

Elliott Smith - "Bled White"
I have two of Elliott Smith's CDs, and I love both, so I was happy to get another Elliott song on the mix. Elliott's songs are usually soft and acoustic, but this one is a little more up-tempo with some drums and keyboards. I love it, and it makes me want to buy more of his CDs.

Badly Drawn Boy - "Stone On the Water"
I think this guy sounds like Elliott Smith, which is a good thing, since I absolutely adore Elliott. This song's soft and acoustic and pretty. Hmm, what else do I have to say? Well, Nicky Wire looks hot in his glittery cape and skirt.. oh, you mean about this song? I got nothing.

Yes - "Roundabout"
I think I might have heard this song on the radio or something because it sounded really familiar to me. There are a lot of guitar solos and keyboards, and the song has a cool, unique melody. It goes on a tad too long, though. One thing that can never go on too long is a cycle ride with Alex. Watching the breeze ruffle his soft, light brown hair is something I, quite simply, can never tire of.

Scissor Sisters - "It Can't Come Quickly Enough"
Hmm... this song sounds like Elton John and '70s pop. I'm not much of a fan of Elton John or '70s pop, but I just love this song for some reason. It's lovely! And it's my favourite of all the songs from the group's self-titled album (yet another mix-influenced purchase).

Silverchair - "My Favourite Thing"
Well, I knew I'd like this song since this band is from Australia, and I would love to go to Australia someday. It would sure beat Scandinavia and the evil rabbits. Those suckers have hooves. Anyway, back to this song (and the land of the sane). Awww... it's such a pretty song, so soft and gentle, with lovely piano and soft orchestral backing. The chorus is really beautiful and sounds like something my (imaginary) admirers would tell me: "You're my favourite thing/ You're my favourite, the one that I love/ You're the one so I'd die for your love."

Stone Temple Pilots - "Sour Girl"
I think this is only the second Stone Temple Pilots song I've ever heard (I know, I'm deprived). Singer Scott Weiland has some nice moves in the video. That video makes me happy. Of course, this is not a review of the video. Anyway, this is a nice enough song musically, although the lyrics are a little repetitive. I still like it though.

Soundgarden - "Pretty Noose"
This song sounds weird and psychedelic in the beginning, and it's hard and heavy, kind of like psychedelics, I guess. Lots of cool bass hooks lurk in the crevices, waiting to spring out and attack. I'm sure that made no sense, but basically, there are bass hooks, and they are cool. Like this song.

Zwan - "Baby Let's Rock!"
Eh. I never liked Smashing Pumpkins all that much, but this song from Billy Corgan's other band is a catchy little slice of fun. If you like his nasal whining, that is. Unfortunately, I do not. Big Bird doesn't like it either. In fact, he was so angry at Billy for making this song that he challenged him to a fight. Needless to say, it didn't end well for Big Bird. I've seen pictures, and trust me, they're not a sight for young eyes.

Foo Fighters - "My Poor Brain"
This song starts off quietly before getting loud during the chorus, a technique that has never been used before (note the sarcasm). But there are some cool riffs, and it's really catchy, so I have a soft spot for it. It's kind of like how a pimp has a soft spot for his mama and lets her know it ain't her fault he pimps in the vault.

Suede - "Animal Nitrate"
I don't own any Suede CDs, but I guess I'll have to change that soon. "Animal Nitrate" is an upbeat, glammy (it's a word now), enjoyable slice of Brit-pop with gorgeous guitar work, some cute little handclaps and a cool fuzzy guitar solo. The lead singer's voice makes this even more fun than it already is. if u dont liek it sing on AIM rite nwo n ill kikc ur fukin azz!

Weezer - "Tired Of Sex"
A song about being tired of having one night stands when all you really want is love. I believe Andy was trying to tell me something with this song, but then again, I am frequently delusional. So we've got some buzzy feedback sounds, nifty drums, a bouncy riff, and an insanely catchy chorus. I have the CD this song is on (Pinkerton), but it remains unlistened to. I'm such a procrastinator.

Queens of the Stone Age - "First It Giveth"
I think I might have one of this band's CDs too, but in addition to being delusional, I get confused easily, so I can't be sure about that. Anyway, "First It Giveth" is enough to make me check to see if I do indeed have this CD. It's up-tempo, with powerful guitars, buzzing bass, and a great acoustic guitar part. The lyrics are a little repetitive, but in a catchy, non-annoying way.

Alice in Chains - "No Excuses"
I'd always stayed away from Alice In Chains for some reason, but this song made me give them another chance. I've since heard the EP containing this song, and I think it's safe to say this is the most upbeat track on there. There's some nice rhythmic drumming, lovely, light-ish guitars, and melodic layered vocals.

Tool - "Schism"
Grar, it's so hard to describe this song. It has a soft beginning with an incredible bass riff, and it lasts about eight minutes, switching easily between quiet verses and louder choruses. Yeah, that description sucked, but this was a single, so you probably know it already, and if you don't, I suggest you fix that.

John Frusciante - "This Cold"
To be honest, I wasn't expecting anything great from this song. I have only a few Red Hot Chili Peppers songs (shoot me now), all of which have been downloaded, not purchased (shoot me again), and from what I'd heard, dear John's solo career wasn't doing too well. Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised by this cute little number. It sounds almost poppy, but in a good way, with fantastic guitar and bass hooks. The only problem is it goes by way too fast.

Primal Scream - "Blood Money"
A loud instrumental with some nice drums, a great bassline, and what sounds like a trumpet. Unfortunately, it gets old fast, and I didn't time it, but it seems to go on for about a decade. Maybe I just don't get it.

The Smiths - "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out"
I have three albums from The Smiths, and I love them all, but the one I always come back to is The Queen Is Dead, in large part due to this song. I think the only Smiths song I'd heard before this was "How Soon Is Now," and I'm just sorry I didn't discover this one earlier. The music is a lovely blend of guitars, strings and keyboards, and Morrissey's vocals are just heavenly. The lyrics strike a chord with me, for reasons I don't feel like going into here. Let's just say this is easily my favourite song from the mix and one of my favourites ever.

Indeed, this be a fine mix. Not only did my rugged sea captain alter-ego Cap'n Liz love it, two of the three Father Christmases inside my head loved it! The other one is really evil. I'm going to have to do something about him. And if anyone else wants to make me a mix and see my pathetic attempts to review it, let me, the cap'n, or one of the Father Christmases know. Cheers, and happy new year!

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