Tracklisted…with CryFace

News / Special Features / Tracklisted / July 7, 2017

Much like the classic mixtape, Tracklisted presents a collection of songs under a selected theme, which you can check out below. Click on the provided Spotify playlist and listen to this week’s arrangement while you read a few words about the selections.

Michigan’s CryFace would’ve found themselves at home in the 2000s, as “rock” became less of an umbrella term for guitar music and more of a winking homage to its fuzzy, love-locked roots. As indie burst out of Brooklyn bars (prior to some arena-size explosions), it cleanly toed the intersection between white-boy blues, funk, and a crisp, classic aftertaste brought on by the faint malaise of a new millennium. Suds, this band’s 2017 sophomore LP, offers a similar sensory overload, as does their playlist below, which offers a time-agnostic journey through their chosen genre’s spacious history.

The Playlist

The Selections

…from Levi Makula

Prefab Sprout — Hallelujah

This song kicks in about midway through Prefab’s album Two Wheels Good with dancey confidence and funky vigor. It’s headed by breezy backing vocals and a sternly flamboyant guitar track, along with tasteful, swooning vocals from Paddy McAloon. This album is full of hits, and this one hits the hardest. The jazzy and unpredictable chord changes during the verses, and the “fire” intro/outro makes this song super irresistible. I love this band’s seemingly unique weird vibe.

Pavement — Rattled by the Rush

This song fucking slaps: a righteous introduction to one of my longtime favorite bands. A shivery song; you can actually feel it “rush” through you with every transition. Also, it still contains one of my favorite dual guitar solos of all time. I have been a fan of theirs for so long and I never tire of their tunes, and good luck finding a looser, wackier, crankier, and lackadaisical vocalist then Stephen M.!

Fugazi — Reprovisional

My friend Joseph and I have been on a heavy Fugazi kick lately, and this is one of the more pungent songs on Repeater. It sticks out especially as an anthem, wary on deception in politics. Obviously, it’s pretty darn relevant today given our situation in the States. A lot of covering up has to be done, mouths have to be sewn because “that’s the price to pay for hoping every slip’s not a slide.” Ian MacKaye’s vocals are especially excited and angry on this tune which is excellent, and the guitar breakdown before the final verse is voluminous. A great and smart punk track!

Talking Heads — Electric Guitar

As a guitarist, this song is fucking scary true: “Someone controls electric guitar.” I was talking with our producer Brent Bryan recently about how this song really holds so much more weight as a guitarist than a non-guitarist. Being the manipulator of a wailing, piercing, energizing beast can (and should) be crazy and unnatural. This song really embodies the tension of that relationship. That power is frightful and is worthy of fear. Also the the run-up lick is so tangy and tasteful!

…from Ian Cotter

David Bowie — Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing (Reprise) (Live)

I strive to gain the ability to write in such a literary style. Bowie conveys the danger and secrecy of living in an oppressive society with an incredible economy of language and uses his voice as such a precise instrument. This live version is from arguably his greatest tour, recently released as a Record Store Day exclusive.

T. Rex — Back From the Moon (Back From the Moon)

An incredibly underrated T. Rex cut. There’s a great performance and classic double choir vocals on the chorus. Very fun synth sounds on this record as well.

Frank Zappa — Fifty-Fifty

This track is classic Zappa, but who knew he could sing like that?! This song has amazing composition and playing, including a guitar solo that never quite goes where you expect.

…from Daniel Cotter

Mac Demarco — Passing Out Pieces

All of Mac Demarco’s drumming has been a huge inspiration, just on that note of “simple, yet effective” but “Passing Out Pieces” is still the king to me. Just the way he rolls on the snare so tightly blew my mind when I first heard it — also that a drum line so simple can still be such a driving force for the rest of the song. Sure, you can say these things about a lot of Mac Demarco tunes, but this one in particular will always stick out in my mind.

Rush — The Spirit of Radio

On the other end of the spectrum, here are some drums that are so stupidly complicated I almost don’t feel comfortable talking about them, like I’m not worthy. It’s funny, but the only way I can really describe this song is that, well, it’s a rush! It gets your BLOOD PUMPING. I don’t have as much to talk about when it comes to this song because, well, what can ya say? It’s three unbelievably talented musicians making some unbelievable sounding music. Kinda speaks for itself.

The Velvet Underground — Venus in Furs

To this day, this is still the coolest sounding song I have EVER heard, no contest. I mean, just listen to it. I first heard this song when I was 13 and it blew my mind like nothing else ever has. I was taking a walk during an autumn sunset, and I can’t think of a more perfect setting to hear one of the most haunting and instrumentally interesting songs I’ve ever heard. But when it comes to the drums, it kind of goes back to the “simple, yet effective” thing. And boy, are they simple! Incredibly simple. But again, they keep driving the song forward. This tune is simply a masterpiece, and it’ll always be one of my favorite, if not my favorite VU song.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard — The Lord of Lightning

And finally, we have a song that, honestly, is just an absolute blast to listen to. King Gizzard is always upping the ante on their psychedelic prog rock style, and I feel like this is what it’s all been building up to. It’s just a fun tune! And it utterly blew my mind when I first heard it. It’s kinda similar to “The Spirit of Radio”; it’s just a bunch of incredibly talented musicians making incredible music. They even have that slight Dungeons and Dragons dorkiness about them. But in a cool way. Like, the COOLEST way possible.

…from Robert Neyrinck

Willie Nelson — Highwayman

This was my mother’s favorite song growing up. It’s all about reincarnation, cowboy stuff, and has Johnny Cash talking about flying a starship through the ether. So, basically, “Highwayman” lists off my goals in life.

Fuzz — Earthen Gate

I’m a bass player, man… enough said.

Electric Light Orchestra — Mr. Blue Sky

I couldn’t fall asleep for six months without listening to this song. The composition, vocal harmonies, and how much it changes all tickle my brain in the right ways… it’s my goal as a musician to produce something close to it.

Turnover — Dizzy on the Comedown

I come back to Peripheral Vision so often nowadays; this song is my favorite off that album. I consider it a soundtrack to dating and love in a person’s twenties.

“Suds” is available now via Big Love Records.

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James Cassar
James Cassar is Modern Vinyl's Managing News Editor and a co-host of The Modern Vinyl Podcast. He is also an artist manager, co-owner of the record label Near Mint, and can be found in bed before 9 p.m. James lives in Philadelphia and no, he won't check out your band if you add him on Facebook.

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