Earlier this year, BIG CHEESE released their new album entitled Punishment Park via Quality Control HQ EU and Triple B Records. On the real, every song on this album is a fucking banger and I can’t get enough of it. We’re really stoked to share with you this killer video playlist that BIG CHEESE put together for us. I love finding out about what songs influenced bands I’m into!
Out Cold – You’ll Never Learn
Drums, drums and more drums. Being my first instrument, the ferociousness and speed of the closed hi hat hand on this tune drives me insane. Out Cold obviously have an impressive catalogue but Two Broken Hearts Are Better Than One is my favourite because I seem to have listened to it more than anything whilst trying to finesse my own approach to faster playing over the years. The riff in You’ll Never Learn is so damn catchy too, with a fair share of misanthropy from Mark Sheehan (RIP). Just the right amount of aggression and a must-listen for any hardcore punk fan.
Free – Mr Big
A nostalgic one for me having grown up with Free as a soundtrack to being in my dad’s car as a young en. Mr Big is a particular favourite and not because Jake Gyllenhaal danced through the streets to it in that mediocre film of yesteryear but because then-20 year old Paul Kossoff’s tone coming out of his Les Paul is so enviable to me. Not just unique to this pretty extraordinary live performance, but the way Andy Fraser’s bass line fills in the gaps of that Hendrix E7#9 riff through the verses truly showcases that unrivalled late 60s/early 70s musicianship and songwriting. Plus a bass solo, one of Paul Rodger’s best vocal performances and psychedelic tv show effects- what’s not to like here!!
Björk – Cocoon
This song delicately captures those rare moments when you’re in love with someone and your guard is completely lowered. The lyrics are beautiful, and it immediately transports me to past memories of deep sexual/emotional connection. Imagine nesting in bed on an MDMA comedown and staring into the eyes of your lover and receiving a glimpse of absolute understanding and adoration. Couple that feeling with ASMR and dull lust and you’re somewhere close. This is my funeral song.
Massive Attack – Teardrop
I remember first hearing this song during Rodney Mullen’s part on Almost Round 3 and the vocal melody just embedded itself into my head forever. There’s some crazy 360 Flip primo slides in that video and they blew my mind but it happens towards the end of the song where it goes all reverb-y and open and it just gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. I forgot about the song and rediscovered it again recently and it’s wicked.
Straight Ahead – Straight Ahead
I tried so hard not to pick this as one of my two song choices but I had to! Nothing has influenced my bass playing more than this track and it’s a rare thing to listen to a HC record and find that the bass is what sticks out the most. For me, Craig Setari perfectly encapsulates what it means to be a great hc/punk bassist – Nothing too flashy, just tasteful licks that carry the rhythm and take nothing away from the song. (Honourable mentions; Daryl Jennifer and Royston “Rainy” Wainright).
The Stone Roses – She Bangs the Drums
I think I’d be kidding myself if I didn’t mention this song. This was the first bassline I ever learned when I was 13 years old. An art teacher at a local youth club taught me how to play it. We had the lessons much in private as the rest of the kids would have kicked the shit outta me for being a goth if they knew I was learning how to play guitar. It wasn’t long after learning this song I got a khaki parka from Topman. Thought I looked sick in it.
KORO – 700 Club
The best hardcore punk EP opener of all time. As hard and fast as physically possible, it covers technology, mass media, religion, corporate exploitation and prescription drug abuse, all in 52 seconds. Oh, and a guitar solo.
Discharge – Drunk With Power
Straight out of Stoke-On-Trent, 1982: furious, frenetic drums and throat-ripping vocals combined with acid rain guitar leads and riffs that make me want to set my guitar on fire. This is how I want hardcore punk to make me feel.
Smashing Pumpkins – Tonight, Tonight
An incredible song and Jimmy Chamberlin really shows how important dynamics are in music. The production really allows this to flourish as well. Just great music. The end of the tune is so massive when he starts laying into the snare.
Crown Of Thornz- God Or Government
I know Crown Of Thornz are a legendary band but I still feel the musicianship, song writing and riffs and just everything about the band is still somehow overlooked. The riffs in this song are so inventive and catchy and the layers of guitars add so much depth and musicality. The drums just thumping their way through and holding it all together make it impossible not to nod your head. Lord Ezec’s lyrics, flow and delivery are the icing on the cake and the cherry on top. Timeless hardcore made by legendary characters. “The people in control are the only ones laughing”.