Heavy metal and alcohol go together like… well, like heavy metal and alcohol. Once a metalhead starts to imbibe, if he’s anything like me, there are at least a handful of songs he will no doubt demand to hear, songs that add to the invincible feeling that only a little bit of the ol’ liquid courage can provide, complete with copious amounts of goat throwing, air guitaring, invisible orange palming, headbanging and living room moshing. It’s a testament to the emotional and physical response that heavy metal can inspire, amplified a thousand fold by mankind’s age-old friends hops and barley (or perhaps something harder, if you’re so inclined).
So pour yourself a pint of your favorite poison and settle in for THKD’s top ten songs for tying one on. While these songs don’t necessarily have anything to do with drinking, they’re the songs I want to hear when I’m drinking.
Motörhead – “Ace of Spades”
Is there any song better for kicking off a weekend bender than “Ace of Spades?” If there is, I have yet to find it. I don’t need to tell you that this song is a pure adrenalin rush, just what you need to get revved up and ready for an all-out alcoholicaust. In college, a friend and I made a ritual out of listening to this song at top volume during our pre-game drinking sessions prior to hitting the bars. To this day, Lemmy’s cigarettes ’n’ whiskey-ravaged roar and bulldozing bass playing can make even a cream-puff like me feel like they’re the baddest motherfucker on the planet.
Venom – “Black Metal”
With its sloppy intensity and down ‘n’ dirty sound, “Black Metal” is the only track that could possibly follow “Ace of Spades.” There’s no doubt that Cronos, Mantas and Abaddon took some inspiration from Motörhead, and I also have no doubt that they were no strangers to causing a little drunken mayhem down at the local pub. There’s a rowdy, rebellious energy to “Black Metal” that makes it absolutely perfect for booze-induced headbanging. The song might sound like it was recorded inside a trashcan, but that doesn’t stop it from being a great song for getting trashed.
KISS – “Deuce” / “Cold Gin”
“You know your man is working hard, he’s worth a deuce!” For some reason it took me a long time to figure out what the hell that meant, until one night while listening (while loaded) it finally dawned on me that it was a nice way of saying your man is worth a shit. Deuce = number two, get it? Yes, I can be a bit thick sometimes, which is probably partly to blame for my love of KISS’ dunderheaded monster rock. Regardless of what it’s about, “Deuce” has a bitchin’ riff and swagger for miles, sometimes that’s all you need when you’re three sheets to the wind. Pair it with the equally mighty Ace Frehley-penned “Cold Gin” for the ultimate twofer. It’s interesting to note that Frehley, who’s alcohol-fuelled antics are the stuff of legend, wasn’t confident enough to sing when he wrote ”Cold Gin” for KISS, so the notoriously straight-laced Gene Simmons belted out the tipsy lyrics when the band recorded it for their debut. “The cheapest stuff is all I need” is certainly a lyric my PBR-loving sorry ass can identify with.
Pentagram – “Be Forewarned”
Speaking of swagger, Pentagram mastermind Bobby Liebling has it in spades on the version of “Be Forewarned” that appears on the First Daze Here compilation. “I’ve lived on the dark side of the moon / And I’ve been to the heart of the sun / I’ve had my time with many ladies / And I’ve killed many men / Before my sixteenth year was done” if those lyrics don’t perfectly compliment a few bottles of the ol’ liquid courage, I don’t know what does. Maximum volume yields maximum results.
Misfits – “Hybrid Moments”
By now, my love for the Misfits (and Glenn Danzig’s entire catalogue) is well documented. Drunk or sober, “Hybrid Moments” is my all-time favorite song in that vast catalogue, making it an absolute must for any bender. It’s the epitome of what the Misfits were about; sing-along vocal lines and a hefty ’50s rock influence atop a foundation of blistering yet melodic punk. But more than any of this, it’s my wife and I’s song; we probably would’ve had it played at the wedding if not for the line about face raping.
Cathedral – “Midnight Mountain”
I’m pretty sure the execs at Columbia Records were drunk off their asses when they decided it was a good idea to partner with Earache Records to distribute releases from the likes of Carcass, Entombed and of course UK doom-lords Cathedral, who went funkadelic disco-doom on “Midnight Mountain,” the third single from 1993′s The Ethereal Mirror. I never would’ve imagined that a funky doom song would work, but this jam goes down smoother than a pint of Newcastle Brown Ale. I can’t resist the urge to boogie after I’ve had a few, and “Midnight Mountain” scratches that itch and then some.
Monster Magnet – “Negasonic Teenage Warhead”
With its deep intergalactic groove and one hundred megaton chorus, “Negasonic Teenage Warhead” is the perfect song to make a typically mild-mannered, rational person want to line up the whiskey shots and fuck shit up; such is the evil power of rock ‘n’ roll when paired with the demon alcohol. The ultimate song for getting smashed while smashing planets.
Clutch – “Promoter (of Earthbound Causes)”
If it isn’t blatantly obvious by now, this drunken playlist is about swagger, swagger and more swagger, and this track from Clutch’s best album (that would be 2004′s Blast Tyrant) is beyond swaggadocious. It’s a swaggering swaggadelic swaggerama of swaggnotronic ecstasy to the nth degree. RIFFS!!!
Satyricon – “K.I.N.G.”
If I were a professional wrestler, “K.I.N.G.” would be my entrance music. Unfortunately, the last time I drunkenly attempted to square off with one of my friends WWF style, my shoulder went through the wall of an apartment building hallway, effectively cutting my career short (or at least making me incredibly sore for a few days). “K.I.N.G.” is just a badass song from Satyricon’s robotic black ‘n’ roll phase that’s bound to make a drunken headbanger feel ten feet tall, provided they aren’t one of those elitist assholes that thinks Satyricon’s last good album was Nemesis Divina.
Alice Cooper – “Under My Wheels”
Honestly, I would probably be more than content to settle in with a 12-pack and listen to Love it to Death, Killer and Billion Dollar Babies in their entirety, but if I’ve got to pick just one song by uncle Alice for this list, I gotta go with “Under My Wheels.” The killer Chuck Berry-esque riffage alone is worth the price of admission, but when teamed with Cooper’s trademark sneering vocals you’ve got lightning in a bottle on your hands. Alice might be clean and sober these days, but his early work has a boozy bite to it that’s absolutely infectious.
So there you have it folks, THKD’s top ten songs to precede a case of brown bottle flu. Now it’s your turn, what songs/albums (metal, rock or otherwise) do you play whilst cracking open a few cold ones?