Editor’s note: In this recurring column, music writer Chris Duncan suggests two albums to listen to this week. Have a suggestion? Send a tweet to @chr_dunc, and your pick might appear in next week’s Two Albums To Listen To.
Walk Among Us – Misfits
Before the Misfits became the pioneering band of the horror punk subgenre, which blends punk music with horror film imagery, it took five years for them score their first record deal.
When they did finally sign a deal with Slash Record, the Misfits had recorded three LPs, and the group needed to decide which record was their best. Most fans of the group would argue they chose correctly when they chose Walk Among Us to become their first full-length release.
For a genre that prides itself on its rebellious attitude, punk was often restricted by an informal set of guidelines. Walk Among Us combines the speed of punk with an odd pop sensibility to create music that rips out punk’s rebellious attitude and instead focuses on entertaining in a deranged fashion. Featuring the famous Rat-Bat-Spider from the 1959 sci-fi horror film “The Angry Red Planet,” on its cover, the record is devoid of any political or social conversation and embraces twisted tales.
Tracks to listen to: “I Turned Into A Martian,” “Vampira,” “Skulls”
Paranoid – Black Sabbath
Paranoid stands as one of the strongest and influential heavy metal records of all time, not only because of its massive popularity but also its new definition of the hardcore sound.
Black Sabbath’s combination of a crushingly loud sound with blues-infused riffs and a minor key helped create some of the most memorable rock songs of all time. The muddled bleakness and depression of each song helps drive even most awkward and blunt of moments on this album forward.
Considering his obsession with dark subject matters, ranging from supernatural horror, death and nuclear war, Ozzy Osbourne gives each song a surprisingly believable weight. Paranoid steamrolls its way through 41 minutes, making an impact on anyone who listens to it.
Tracks to listen to: “War Pigs,” “Paranoid,” “Iron Man”