Monday, May 18, 2009

Best Rock Album 1-2 Punches

The only thing better than one brain-melting rock and roll song is two brain-melting rock and roll songs. It's like this: Little Mac can't drop Tyson just by pressing up+A...he needs that jab/star punch combo to knock Iron Mike clean off his ass. In that vein we take a look at these musical star-punches handed down directly from the hands of the rock gods. Girded as we may against their brain-melting might, none are immune to these rock-induced KO's.

1. Black Dog
2. Rock And Roll
Led Zeppelin IV, Led Zeppelin

It starts with "Hey hey mama / said the way you move" and ends with Bonzo beating the hell out of that thundering kit. Zeppelin IV set Page & Co. apart from contemporaries like Black Sabbath; its opening 'Black Dog' / 'Rock and Roll' combo knocked listeners off their asses. These are two of the most balls-out rocking songs in all of awesomedom -- having them back to back to start a record requires its own verbiage: "Zepplinesque."

5. Supernaut
6. Snowblind
Black Sabbath Vol. 4, Black Sabbath

I'd put this at #1 if #1 wasn't Zeppelin. Although this dynamic duo from hell gets overshadowed by Paranoid and Iron Man, Supernaut and Snowblind mark the exact spot in Black Sabbath Vol.4 where your mindhole gets blown. Perhaps its the frenetic energy of Supernaut's badass riff juxtaposed with Snowblind's laconic rhythms. Perhaps its a simple matter of both tunes being completely sweet.

6. Back in Black
7. You Shook Me All Night Long
Back in Black, AC/DC

Not much explanation needed for this pair. The former's hi-hat is iconic, the latter's lyrics have gotten millions laid. The question facing AD/DC was how would they ever replace someone as dynamic as Bon Scott? Eggheads lamented how the boys from down under would never be the same, but by tracks 6 and 7 of Back in Black, they were all eating s**tburgers.

1. Bombtrack
2. Killing in the Name
Rage Against the Machine (Eponymous 1992)

By the time Killing in the Name reached its crescendo of clusterfire f-bombs, you weren't sure at whom or why exactly, but you were PISSED. "F*** yeah! I'm not gonna do what they tell me! [throws rock through window]" Of course, Rage sired Metal's bastard children, rap- and nĂ¼-, but this opening salvo is good enough that we'll forgive them the bastard Limp Bizkits and Crazy Towns they spawned.

2. Know
3. Sugar
System of a Down (Eponymous 1999)

Holy s**t! Its a good thing I've already procreated because my balls were just rocked off. Who are these dudes, and what is in the Armenian water that makes them rock so hard? This is another RATM-like case of a surprise kick in the junk. Know and Sugar are SYOAD at their best: knocking skulls without effing around.

1. You think I Ain't Worth a Dollar But I Feel Like a Millionaire
2. No One Knows
Songs for the Deaf, Queens of the Stone Age

Queens of the Stone Age rock so hard I puked. Well...actually the vomit was mostly Jagermesiter. I first heard this duo through the haze of a six-alarm hangover - fetally crumpled in the back of a Jeep Cherokee. Between dry heaves I thought, "Man, this f***ing rocks! [barf] You need to buy this record [barf]."

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