I would like to poiint out a few things right away. First, I have compiled the closing songs using Windows Media Player mostly because despite whatever any jerkoff says, iTunes sucks. I mean that in the nicest ways. I just hate the interface. So there’s that.
Also, there is a lot of music to be named here. I find that an album is defined by it’s first, second, and last song. This isn’t always the case. There are exceptions. Some bands can have horrible records and than holy shit, have a brilliant song to end the record.
I’m doing this on the fly right now. I’m only on the B’s nin my music library. I have a lote of music at my disposal and it’s almost silly if you think about it. So I hope you think about it. Because silly is good. Really good actually. I wish more things were silly. We’d all be better off.
I’ve been drinking. Now, if you’ve evr read any of my nonsense you’ll know that I enjoy drinking. That and sleep aids. Tonight is bo different, though I’ve just drank. Becqause, well, I have my reasons. Pains a sonofabitch and I don’t feel like getting into it here. I drink because I feel like if I didn’t I’d be worse off. And no, that’s not an alcoholic statement.
So anyway, here are some great songs that end albums. I will admit that that some groups have a whole lot more featured in this list. I’d explain that by saying that some bands just know how to close out an album well. I also happen to listen to these bands more than, let’s say, The Rolling Stones. So here’s my list of great closing songs. It’s lenghty, I warn you. Also poorly written.
Against Me-“8 Full Hours of Sleep”. Against Me released one of the best punk rock albums ever in “Reinventing Axl Rose”. Seripusly. It’s amazing. So why wouldn’t they end it beautifully with an accoustic track talking about a happy ending (not that happy ending, you perv). It’s a beautiful song by a band that is the closest embodiment to The Clash that has been since, well, The Clash.
Alkaline Trio-“97”. This is a song about lead gutarist Matt Skiba getting caught smking weed and has to do with his parole. It'[s a great song that ends one of the Trio’s best albums (it’s a compelation but it’s still just so so great). It finishes the album perfectly. There’s a certain sense of melancholy that goes with the song. Personally, I’d rather have a good whiskey than a blunt, but to each their own.
Alkaline Trio-“Crawl”. This, in my opinion is one of the nost underated Alkaline Trio songs ever. It ends a great album, “From Here to In firmary” and does so in a tale of lost love and sadness that only a band like Alkaline Trio is able to convey. It’s just a great, great song. “Never had a drink that I didn’t like, got a taste of you, threw up all night”. Very relateable lyrics. In fact, the whole album is full of them. Especially coming from Dan Andriano who often talks abput self medicating with alcohol to get through his problems. It’s not the wqay to go about life, but it does make for a really good song. And the end of the song, “I don’t know, I don’t know,Ii don’t know who your boyfriend is I don’t know” is incredibly simple lyrics that tells quite the story. As a guy who has been in a situation where you don’t know who this other guy is, except for the creation you’ve made in your head is, it’s a great way to express that empty feeling of not knowing if this guy is beter than you. I’ll give you peace of mind, you’re a champ and you’re better.
Alkaline Trio-“Blue In the Face”. “Blue In the Face” has a few meanings. On face value it can be taken as a heartbroken love song. On another it can detail the struggles gitarist Matt Skiba had with cocaine addiction. This is what makes this truley an amazing song. There are multiple meanings and and all of them are correct. Alkaline Trio has always been good at crafting songs that allow for the listener to make it their own. They absolutely kbnock it out of the park with this one. As an aside, the first time I saw the Trio in concert in New York City they closed this song which on the album is just Skiba on accoustic guitar, with the full band. You can find the ful band version on youtube and various demos with the full band as well. Such a beautiful song.
Alkaline Trio-“Sorry About That”. This may be the best closing song regarding a failed relationship I’ve ever heard. It starts out with a couple completely in love, only to realize that this sense of love was a fabrication. Matt Skiba’s ability to place the blame on himself shines through on this song. “If I hadn’t set aside the fact that you were broken hearted, hell knows where your heart would be today, maybe with me”. It’s a sentiment that only someone looking back could focus on. Hind sight is a bitch. And Alkaline Trio helps put it into words that most of us would never be able to. God bless them for it.
Alkaline Trio-“Radio”. This is the last Alkaline Trio song on my list and it might be the most noticable. “Radio” is the perfect way to end a concert. Really. You’ll lose your voice, as I have, shouting out the lyrics to this song. There’s a certain sense of community that goes with the really pretty guitar strumming, which makes belting out “I’ve got a big fat fucking bone to pick with you my darling. In case you haven’t heard I’m sick and tired of trying. I wish you, would take my radio to bathe with you plugged in and ready to fall”. Yeah, that’s a pretty gruesome way to end someones life, but who hasn’t felt the frustration of a failed relationship ending in such a way? It’s aq great song off of the Trio’s best album, “Maybe I’ll Catch Fire” (which might be my favorite song ever written because it perfectly states the feelings of someone lost and utterly depressed).
All-American Rejects-“Last Song”. I’m 24 years old and thus the All-American Rejects were big when I was in high school. Their debut self titled album was great. Really. It’s perfection in the realm of pop punk. I’m not ashamed to say that this album was a defining moment in my life. It’s great, and they played the album amazingly when I saw them at a music festival back in 2005 (I think). And hey, me and an ex girlfriend connected based off of one of their later songs. So that counts for something, I guess.
Bayside-“Dear Tragedy” It’s rare that I’ve evr related to a band more than I have with Bayside. They were there when I starte my first serious relationship and they were there when that relationship failed. They are a great band and Anthony Raneri’s vocals and lyrics provide a comfort for those who are hurting (seriously, the guy later went on to marry a porn star and then they got divorced). The album this is off of, “Bayside( a selftitled work) is great. Their first, “Sirens and Condolences” is the PERFECT album for every guy who has ever been hurt by a relationship. Really. IT is one of my favorite albums, even though the band has gone on to do better things, because it so perfectly represents that moment in life where you thought the world was ending because of a girl.
The Beatles-“A Day in the Life”. This is the closing song to what many consider to be the best album ever, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club”. While I will agree that this record is one of the best albums ever put to tape, it’s in my opinion not the best. But that’s just my opinion. Really, who am I to say anything compared to some douchebag whow rites for Rolling Stone? Truth is, this is a great, great song and one of my favorite Beatles songs (perhaps just behind “Happiness Is A Warm Gun”, which while being a great song is not comparable to the best that The Velvet Undeground recorded with their debut album).
Black Sabbath-“Into the Void”. My favorite Sabbath album is “Master of Reality”. To me it’s the best expression of metal that rock and roll has come to express. Hell, Sabbath might very well be the best metal band ever. In “Into the Void” it shows how talented of a band they were. It encompasses evrything Sabbath was known for.
Blindside-“About a Burning Fire. How dare I put a Christian band into a list of best closing albums ever? This has nothing to do with them being Christian, a lot of good Christian bands are out there (MxPx, Dogwood, Slickshoes, Squad Five-O, and a bunch of other bands that I listneed to duriong my formidable years as a Christian punk). This song, however, makes hardcore into something that ranscended religion. It was just good. Reallly good.
The Bouncing Souls-“The Whole Thing”. The Bouncing Souls are one of my favorite bands. They were one of the the bands that with the assitance of my borthers made me fall in love with punk rock. “Hopeless Romantic” is a wonderful record full of some of the ‘Souls best songs. “Bullying the Juke Box”, Night on Earth, just to name too. The whole album is great, maybe exclding the less than stellar duet of “Wish me well (you can go to hell)”. It’s a great album and “The Whole Thing” is the right kind of life affirming music the Souls have been known for.
The Bouncing Souls-“Gone”. The Bouncing Souls album “How I spent My Summer Vacation” is one of those albums that made me look at music in a different light. It’s punk rock in all the right ways. Here are a bunch of guys from New Jersey (oh my God my own state!) making incredible music. The whole album is wonderful and it climaxes with “Gone”, a song about perservering and doing your own thing. “I built this cloud I can break it the world can’t change how I feel. Because I know it’s a lie. My heart is real.” Seldom have truer words been sung.
The Bouncing Souls-“Johnny X”. OK, I love The Clash. They’re the best punk band ever. With that being said, if I had to include a song that I would group with The Clash it would be Johnny X. It’s simply amazing. Really. It is so fucking good. My brother used some of these lyrics as his senior quote in high school and they fucked it up. In fairness, I kind of like that they did. It wouldn’t have been as punk if they had gotten it right.
Brand New-“Soco Armetto Lime”. I’ve yet to hear a summer lover song that has had the impact that this song hashad on me. I remember driving over to a girls house in a neighboring town and thinking this song was our anthem. It’s the perfect song for youth before they grow old and experience what life is. “Singing everybody wake up it’s time to get down. And when I pass the bottle back to Pete on the overpass tonight I bet we laugh. I’m gonna stay 18 forever. So it can stay like this forever and we’ll never miss a party cause we keep them going constantly. And we’ll never have to listen to anyone about anything cause it’s all be done and it’s all been said andwe’re the coolest kids and we take what we can get. You’re jsut jealous cause we’re young and in love.” Who didn’t feel like that when you were 18? You were invincible. You had the world at your finger tips and you loved everything about it. And you should have. Because that feeling ends. In a rather poingiant way, the song cuts off during the repeat of “you’re just jealous cause we’re young and in love” the way a record would scratch. It’s not a comforting sound. And out of all bands I’ve listned to, Brand New knows how to make a point and grow up. They’ve done it with all of their records.
Brand New-“Play Crack the Sky”. This may be my favorite song, and definately one of my favorite, if not favorite, break up songs. Jesse Lacey, guitarist and lead singer of the band is incredible with how he is able to weave a tale. In fact, I don’t feel that I can do his words any justice. So Instead I’ll just copy the loyrics here and let you see just how beautiful the English language can be. One day I hope to be able to write half as well as Mr. Lacey writes in this song. It’s that beautiful. In fact, you should immediately purchase all their albums. From their first, ” Your Favorite Weapon”, to “Deja Entendu” (my favorite of all of their albums), to “The Devil and God are Raging Inside of Me” (the darkest, yest possibly having some of the most beautiful lyrics the band has ever written) in songs that relate way to personally for me. See, I grew up in a Christian household. I believed in God. I still do. But the questioning has become much more frequent as I age. Which is why in songs as “Millstone” you see someone doubting hisfaith and feeling guiolty aboutall the wrong he’s done wrong by his faith. And the incredibly beautiful “Jesus” comes on and you can’t help but feel guilty and not worthy. You question if you could ever make the sacrifice that Christ made. And it’s a really, really, exahausting a position to be put in. And that right there, shows why Brand New is probably the most compelling bands out there ever. Never has a band made me question my faith in God and my ability to keep that faith in God only based on faith alone. Basically, you have faith or you don’t. The band doesn’t tell you what to think. You make your own decision based on your own experiences. I really don’t know if Brand New knows that they have made a boy question the very faith that he always knew to be true.
Not speaking of the band Brand New, I can’t help but see them as a band based upon upon a generation that was made for me. A bunch of kids fullof questions. Desperately clining to faith, yet wondering what else was out there. Hoping to come back with the right answer.
To me, Brand New is the voice of a Christian nation finding it’s own. There’s no right or wrong. Just questions. And with those questions the listener can figure out what they want. Brand New never meant to be a band to be knonwn for wondering about what the after life held. Or at least not in such a wide scale.
With all of this being said, I can’t help but think that Brand New has shown that bands go through progressions. They started beig a highschool band much like Taking Back Sunday, and while Taking Back Sunday went on to make a very good record after their debut “Tell All Your Friends”, Brand New released “Deja Entendu” and reinventead what rock and roll was. It wasn’t just catchy tunes, something Taking Back Sunday have ( they are really good at what they do) and what they continue to do so well. The problem with being really good at what you’re able to do is not the same as being able to, not only nr goof, but get a wBaxcide ranging public to ask questions about faith, for better or for worse. Taking nothing away from Taking Back Sunday they are a very talented band that is able to keep listeners intrest. It’s catchy. It’s pop. It’s about relationships. And while thosew can be some of the most difficult things a person faces in their life, I happen to sidewith, while respectingth e human element of Taking Back Sunday who are quite talented at what they do. Brand New. Their first album shows a young band full of that high school, short liveed pizazz which you take in before it fades.ecause superlatives only last as long as the week as they are given. So Brand New puts out a perfect high school album. About wanting to stay 18 forever. Because, let’s be honest. 18 was a great age. And then they went and realease “Deja Entendu” which I read in a review was basicallly the band getting comfortable with smoking pot. I don’t doubt this, but I think these young lads are more than capable to make a great, really great, one of the best albums released in the past 20 years in “Deja”. Its the perfect following of “You’re Favorite Record” which was by all accounts, a perfectly wrttien high school album. In Deja” they follow darker theemes. It’s not jsut living young and wanting to stay 18 forever. It’d be gfreat, but life goes on and no one can stay stagnant. So they evolve. And they put out an album that makes people who love “Your Favorite Record” scratch their heads. What is this, they say? Well. I’s the sound of band moving on and not being caught in a sound that was going to destroy them if they stayed there long enough. So instead Jesse Lacey expands his vocabulary and writes lyrics that show growth and a sense of where the band is heading. They’re no longer a high school rock band. They’re a band with a whole lot more to stay rather than just the politics of high school (which still do hold a reallly significant imporatance in an adolesence life. Listen to “Teenage Politics” by MxPx or “The Question” by Emery. They’ll give you a good deal of teenage angst as will, Lagwagon, Blink182, and a whole lot of other west coast bands.
So to continue on, Brand New puts out their third album. It took awhile for them to get eheir. A bunch of demos were released and I know some made the final copy while others I thought deserved to didn’t/ But wow. The band had evolved again . They weren’t that high school band anymore, they weren’t that curious college aged band anymore, they were a band that had experienced life and started to really question the things that matter. Everything. They have a song called “Jesus: and it’s a beuaitful song. I imagine it’s the song that a lapsed Catholic/Christian would connect with. Holding onto faith becqause it’s all you know. And through life you get shaken down from your fairth but you still cling to it becqause it’s what you know what to do. The Song “Millstone” perfectly illustrates the conflict ofinference betweena beiever and thoswho want him to believe. And there’s no snwer given which makesit even better. It’s just the story of a band going through life, just like we are minus the ability to pen songs that make people like me stay up late at night and contemplate the meaning behind it all. I hope one of the guys in the band finds this and gives me a high five and says “dude, it’s just music”. That’d be neat.
But it doesn’t ened there. Brand New released another album entitled “Daisy”. And it’s more depressing than the last. So, just to keep track: Brand New puts out a youthful high school album in “Your’e Favorite Weapon”, goes on to least what might be their best album in “Deja Entendu’, then they follow that up with “The Devil and God are Raging Inside of Me” which may be their darkest album to date and definately album title wise. It’s not a happy listen. It’s a beautiful listen but sadness can be beautiful. So after this record they release “Daisy” and fans are thrilled. Not because it’s a return to some kind of for but because it’s new music from the modst prolific band in music today.
Really. This whole thing started about the best songs to close an album. And it ended with a diatribe on Brand New and how fucking great they are. Do yourself a favor and listen to their catalogue from eginning to end and realize why this is how a band should evolve.
And oh, more closing songs will be comming tomorrow. Reallly got off track there.