Guest Column: Five Albums That Will Change You By Handshake Inc.’s David Hall

Guest Column

In our ongoing series of guest columns, we’ve asked a bunch of metal’s heaviest hitters to provide us with a list of five crucial albums they think will change you — either for the better or the worse. Today, we hear from Handshake Inc.’s David Hall.

Total Fucking Destruction — Peace Love and Total Fucking Destruction
TFD is a band more people need to get into. Like now. This album is a great place to start, though you can’t go wrong with any TFD. Fast-paced, frenetic, mind expanding, sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, socially aware, catchy, blistering and fresh grind like no other. Killer riffs galore, gang-vocals, cathartic screams en masse and super awesome lyrics (“the revolution will not be televised because the revolution will not be!”) make this album a must-listen for any fans of extreme music. The whole record plays like a concept album for freaks — each song an ode to a society caught in a quasi futuristic world whose reliance on technology is slowly ushering in the end of the world. Sound familiar?

Asia Classics 1 — Dance Rajah Dance
The album is a collection of the work of Bollywood film composer and musician Vijaya Anand, and it’s like nothing else EVER in the history of contemporary music. Eleven songs of pure joy, insanity and psychedelic madness that cover every conceivable genre of pop music, re-imagined through a filter of crazy Bollywood dance music. The sounds Anand gets out of a synth are mind blowing, and it’s interesting to hear ‘Western’ music as interpreted by the East. It’s truly impossible to describe the giddy effect this music will have on your life if you get into it.

Jucifer — L’autrichienne
In my opinion, L’autrichienne is one of the best rock records ever made in the past fifteen years. Twenty-one masterfully written songs that range in style from grunge, pop, country, punk, sludge, hard rock, shoegaze, stoner rock and everything in between, but the varying styles aren’t played for gimmick. The tunes flow seamlessly, and it’s one of those albums where every song is as good and better than the next and last and you really don’t want it to end. Sure, Jucifer are an unholy power to be reckoned with live, and for your daily dose of amplifier worship go see em whenever you can – but for a fix of insanely good rock music, spin this often.

P.S. Amber Valentine has the best female voice ever and Edgar Livengood should be one of your favorite drummers ever too cuz he’s basically Keith Moon reincarnated.

Nomeansno — Sex Mad
How to describe Nomeansno? Progressive punk? The original Primus? Black Flag + Big Black meets Dead Kennedys? Probably one of the more forward thinking and “outside the box” punk bands to have ever existed. Most people go with Wrong as the best NMN album, but I got into Sex Mad first and it’s always stuck with me as their best. Combining all the best elements of thrash, anthem rock and straight-up punk rock, Sex Mad (combined with the EP You Kill Me on CD) was born in that amazing period of underground music before Nevermind fucked everyone’s dick off. This record, for me, is as important in the foundation and histroy of alternative music as Pixies’ Surfer Rosa and Archers of Loaf’s Icky Metal. Whatever that means.

Butthole Surfers — Brown Reason to Live
The debut ep or mini lp (cut on 45 for the 12”) by the legendary Butthole Surfers. Noise, sludge, punk, chopped and screwed…beautiful and abrasive chaos. Lsd-fueled antics, “who was in my room last night,” and the nintendo ‘play it loud’ commercial in the 90s often overshadow the bands’ stellar songwriting abilities and musicianship, but if you go back to the beginning, Brown Reason reveals a band full of creative energy, doing something completely original and paving the way for any ‘noise’ band that followed. Best guitar sound, best bass sound, best lyrics – pure gonzo insanity and every second is gold. Plus, check out these lyrics from “The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey’s Grave.”

There’s a time to fuck and a time to crave But the Shah sleeps in Lee Harvey’s grave
There’s a time to shit and there’s a time for God That last shit I took was pretty fuckin’ odd
There’s a time for drugs and there’s a time to be sane But Jimi Hendrix makes love to Marylin’s remains
There’s a time to live and a time to die I smoke Elvis Presley’s toenails when I wanna get high
There’s a time to fuck and a time to crave But the Shah sleeps in Lee Harvey’s grave
Don’t look back at me! I see you tremblin’! You look like shit! I am the ultimate god!
God is second to me! I am number one, motherfucker! Don’t even look back!
Don’t even look upon me with your naked eyes!
Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!

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About Chris Harris

Chris Harris is an internationally-published music journalist and writer whose work has appeared on the pages of Rolling Stone, IFC, Revolver, Alternative Press, and Radar. The former news editor for Noisecreep, Harris also served as co-host for the site’s weekly podcast, “Creep Show." Before that, he spent four years writing for MTV News.