'Wind Phoenix (Proper Name)' by Cymbals Eat Guitars
This is a new song! Cymbals Eat Guitars are a wildly talented group of 20 year old out of Staten Island who just self-released a very impressive if choppy and occasionally overproduced debut LP, Why There Are Mountains. Again, I repeat, the album is very strong, but 'Wind Phoenix' threatens to sabotage the whole mess by being almost too good. Lately I've been finding myself in the mood for some Cymbals, but I automatically skip to 'Wind Phoenix,' because I don't want to wait through the first 6 (mostly good) tracks for. The song has the overall feel of a recent Modest Mouse song, probably because it was produced by the same dude who did Mouse's last album. Now, I'm automatically suspicious of any rock song that begins with a trumpet section, but these kids have the ambition to make it all work. The song follows a very Brock-esque template, with a beginning section building to a crescendo with frontman Joseph Ferocious screaming at the top of his lungs. Then the song chills out for a bit, and builds back into the original melody from the beginning. The tune is deliciously catchy, but what gets me are the wonderfully non-sensical lyrics, my favorite being "make love to inanimate objects," followed closely by "we're not used to the pull, she said, got sent round infinity," and "eye on his liver, grayin' decayin'." As such, I have no idea what the song is about, but I don't really feel any urge to figure it all out. Definite song of the year candidate.
'Sword in the Stone' by Ted Leo
For good measure I thought I'd throw in an old song. 'Sword in the Stone' comes from a 2003 EP by Ted Leo and the Pharmacists which I recently discovered. The song in question is actually a solo affair, just Leo's melifluous voice and an electric guitar. Such is the case for the majority of the EP actually, save the rousing title track "Tell Balgeary, Balgury Is Dead" and two throwaway dub experiments. Actually, the whole EP is fantastic, with Leo at his best: righteously pissed off, venting his fury into wonderfully catchy pop songs. I actually could have chosen any one of 4 or 5 of the tracks off the release for the prestigious song of the week status, but I chose 'Sword' because its hooks sink particularly deep, and its lyrics are some of the most pessimistic Leo has ever penned: "I'm not impressed with your desire to be the biggest in the bowl/ You'll still just be a little shit in a world that's just a big shit hole!" Once again, not really sure where the song's aimed, but given that it came out during Leo's activist phase, maybe the Bush administration? The republican led government? Knowing Leo, the meaning probably runs at least a little deeper than that. Whatever, I like to think you can direct the words from this song at anyone that you really hate: "And your crime won't make you a dime/ It's just like any other job where their gonna pay you for your time!"