A weekly breakdown of my Spotify playlists.

By Kolby Bergquist

#8.2. July 12, 2019

Every week I pray that the Spotify gods be good to me as I check my Discover Weekly playlist. They’ve lead astray once or twice, but they’ve also lead me to find some truly awesome tunes. So I’ve decided to use this platform to share my findings with you.

Twice a week, I’ll share with you my playlist, rate the songs, and give my opinions on each track. Hopefully, you can use this as a way to discover new artists, find what to avoid, and grow your catalog.

Scale from best to worst

Awesome – Great – Good – Fine – Whatever – Skip it

I’ll pick a favorite of the week, you’ll know it when you see the ghost. I will not pick my least favorite. You should be able to figure that out for yourselves anyway, and I’m already ripping into a band’s hard work, so theres no need for me to add insult to injury with a stupid sticker or something. Anyways,

Enjoy the read! 

“You’re Not Alone” Home Grown
Rating: Good
Genre:  Pop Punk
The Verdict: 

I used to have this record on CD so I’m not going to go too far into it. It’s a pretty fair little pop punk record, that came in probably a little too late in the game to gain any real traction. 

I will say that you can really hear how this whole album was influenced back in 2002 by the coming wave of emo bands. It’s a little sadder sounding than anything this bad had released previously, and a lot of the emo tropes are present here on this particular outing. Check it out, just don’t expect much outside of regular old pop punk, with an emo flair.

“December” Introvert 
Rating: Good
Genre:  Hard Rock
The Verdict: 

This is a fairly decent hard rock track, but there’s not much to it. The chord structure and feel of the song reminds me of that early 0’s alt metal movement with bands like Trust Company, and I do like that. 

All together though, it doesn’t do very much for me. At least with Trust Company, I have some nostalgic feelings towards them; playing the Disney Skateboarding Adventure video game on ps2, eating Doritos till your face hurts, those were the days. And don’t tell me you don’t remember Disney Skateboarding Adventure, I can’t be the only one.

“2rak005” Bracket
Rating: Awesome 
Genre:  Punk, Pop Punk
The Verdict: 

Where do I know this song from? I think it’s a great track. The vocal melodies play well with the chord progression, the mix feels clean but raw, and the lyrics aren’t so incredibly self indulgent it becomes noticeable and annoying like a lot of punk tracks have been lately. 

In fact the lyrics here are pretty self deprecating, which is a bummer, I wish this guy was having a better day, but I can get behind those lyrics a lot easier; I can feel with the singer, and connect with the song.

“Still Burning” Incendiary
Rating: Good
Genre: Post Hardcore, Hardcore
The Verdict: 

I’m not in the mood for hardcore, I have definitely not been in quite some time. This had a few really interesting moments, but it’s still caveman beats and yelling. 

Honestly though, I will say it captured my attention enough to where I’m going to come back to this after a while. The song moved around enough to be interesting, and there was about as much exploration in the guitar work as can be afforded by the genre.

Lay Low” Fiddlehead
Rating: Skip It
Genre: Post Punk, Indie
The Verdict: 

It’s just boring. It seems to revel in its simplicity at the chorus, but at the same time it uses a lot of intricate chords during the verses. Even through some of the more complicated parts of the song, I felt uninterested. 

They just missed out on something that could have been great here, with a little more thought they could have worked in some really cool stuff.

“Chump Chance” Big Business
Rating: Awesome
Genre: Metal, Rock
The Verdict: 

I’m pretty sure the first time I heard this song was live, but I could be wrong. Big Business is very cool, they have that 70’s metal revival feel down to a science, from the lyrics to the production, everything is perfect. Check it out.

“Be Beheaded” Soulskin
Rating: Skip It
Genre: Alt Metal, Hard Rock, Rock
The Verdict: 

You can tell what this band is going to be just by the name. My least favorite genre of music is 90’s alt Metal. Faith No More, Soudgarden, Alice In Chains, etc. Naturally i would also dislike bands who are heavily inspired by that genre. 

Soulskin is totally a 90’s alt metal revival band, and I will never be into this kind of stuff.

“Puddle of Blood” Hard Girls
Rating: Good
Genre: Post Punk, Indie Rock
The Verdict: 

It’s a good post punk song, but there’s not much else to say about it. It’s just about as innovative as any other post punk band is, it has that annoying story telling lyrical approach that’s been haunting me lately, and throughout the song nothing jumps out as being amazing. 

The song as a whole is fun though. It moves through different sections seamlessly, it’s got some pieces that really jam, and the vocals sound very good. There’s nothing wrong with it per-say, but there’s nothing exceptional about it either.

“Drive” Blind Iris
Rating: Skip It
Genre: Alt Metal, Nu Metal, Hard Rock
The Verdict: 

Why is this happening right now? What gave Spotify the idea that I want to listen to 90’s Alt Metal? 

Anyway, this particular song is the worst kind of that genre in every way. It’s boring, the vocals are horrible, the production is absolutely awful, and the music is extremely derivative. Skip It. 

“3’s & 7’s” Queens of the Stone Age
Rating: Awesome
Genre: Hard Rock, Alternative Rock, Stoner Rock
The Verdict: 

WOW I’VE NEVER HEARD THIS BEFORE!

Of course I have, this is one of the greatest rock bands to ever be. Josh Homme is a powerhouse musician, and everything he touches turns to gold. This is a very good record as a whole, but I think I’m not alone in saying this bands two previous releases were better. 

This track is one of their more tame pieces, but it’s still wonderful. If you haven’t listened to them before, do it now. Start with “Songs For The Deaf”, and work your way through everything they’ve ever done, you won’t be disappointed.

“Creatures (For a While)” 311
Rating: Skip It
Genre: Alternative Rock
The Verdict: 

NOPE.

“I’m Not Invisible” Rocket From The Crypt
Rating: Awesome
Genre: Punk, Post Punk, Ska Punk
The Verdict: 

Yes! This is my favorite track from them. I have had this CD for years, and I have loved this song particularly since I was probably 13. Check them out if you haven’t, aside from having one of the coolest band name’s in the game, they’re just one of the best punk bands of the era.

“Dead End Friends” Them Crooked Vultures
Rating: Good
Genre: Hard Rock
The Verdict: 

I feel the same about this as I do with any super group. They always sound like a neutered version of one of the bands represented. In this case, Them Crooked Vultures sounds like any other Queens of the Stone Age record but without any teeth. 

It’s as if there’s always the predominant and best songwriter of the bunch, in this case Josh Homme, who gets constrained by the idea of working with a few other rock legends, and therefore doesn’t go nearly as far as they normally would to write a great record. This song in particular sounds like a rejected QOTSA track, without all the strangeness Homme usually infuses into his work. 

Them Crooked Vultures is by no means a terrible band, but I feel like they would be a much better band had I never heard a Queens record before.

ghostly“Breakfast of Champions” Rainer Maria 
Rating: Awesome
Genre: Post Punk, Indie Rock, Emo
The Verdict: 

Yes, I like this. It very much fits my taste for early emo junk. I appreciate the fact that they manage to get such a big sound as a three piece, one of my projects is also a three piece, and I always feel like we might be missing something. Of course we aren’t, but that’s always in the back of my mind. It’s nice to see someone made it work, so I can put my mind at ease.

The song itself is awesome. The energy it brings feels both melancholy, and exciting, like a lot of those early emo bands. I’ll have to go through their catalog now and find some songs to put on my playlist next to The Promise Ring, and Christie Front Drive.

“Kept” Movements
Rating: Awesome
Genre: Post Hardcore, Emo, Alternative
The Verdict:

This is a very cool song. The chords they use are hauntingly beautiful, and the structure of the song keeps you invested throughout. It’s a very good piece of post hardcore songwriting. It’s always important to note that this genre is supposed to have a very specific feel. Too many bands miss that, and I’m glad to finally hear one that is getting it right.

Well that was a bore fest today wasn’t it? We’ll try again next week!

Stay Ghostly,

Kolby Bergquist