Danny Gomez (vocals, guitar):
The Fall, “Industrial Estate”
I started to write this playlist when I found out Mark E. Smith died. I felt it appropriate to start here and pay my respects. This song has been a constant in my life for the past four years (I even lived with a British chap who I saw drunkenly get a song from the Fall tattooed). Direct, yet says so much. Concise, but intricate. Most of the song being the phrases ‘industrial estate’ and ‘yeah yeah’ being bellowed over and over again, it’s a political movement in itself. I’ve always had a fascination with Mark E. Smith’s unpredictability, eloquence and interrogation of the world around him. He was never subjecting himself to a political or social range, but instead doubting their motives. This self-awareness and examination of the mundane is an important aspect of music to me.
Abner Jay, “I’m So Depressed”
Genuine, painful and strange. The mystique of Abner and his eccentric monologues about the songs make him such an intriguing artist that not too much is known about. His songs are real stories about real people. Social commentary is an essential conversation between the artist and their audience.
The Velvet Underground, “I’m Set Free”
An album that never escapes the memory. I always find myself going to this at the beginning of each year as the weather hits its most bleak point. I’m not sure if it serves as comfort or just obsessive habit by now, but I’m not complaining. When the first chorus of this song hits, it feels like what I imagine salvation or peace of mind to sound like.
Put it on and find out. To experience it is the only describable way.
Jake Pflum (guitar, vocals):
Circle Jerks, “Wild in the Streets”
This is an angry, ‘kick-the-door down and let everyone know you’re here’ song. Coincidentally, that’s exactly what we’re trying to do at every show.
Fugazi, “Brendan #1″
Aside from being one of the most ideologically influential bands on me, Fugazi has a way with noise, groove and melody that has inspired me since the first second I heard it. Elements of this song and so many others in their body of work find their way into my playing.
Black Sabbath, “Supernaut”
If every band listened to this riff before they went on stage or before a songwriting session, we wouldn’t have to keep having the ‘do you think rock & roll is dead?’ conversation.
Alexis Castro (drums):
Television, “1880 or So”
Joy Division, “Warsaw”
The Cure, “Primary”
These are songs I’ve come back to again and again over the past year. They all feel like the people who created them had something explicit to say that they could only get out through these exact songs. No filler or bullshit frills, just a raw expression of the sentiment they held at the time. It’s something I try to emulate with anything I do, whether it’s writing, photography, skating, music, etc.
Mo Martinez (bass, vocals):
Ultimate Painting, “Ten Street”
I remember when I saw them live last year, they closed with this song and jammed it out for like 15 minutes. It was amazing and intense. The guitar progression is perfect and the drums are heaven. Funny how people say ‘guitar rock music is dead.’
Autolux, “Asleep at the Trigger”
I think Autolux is one of the most underrated bands of the ’00s. The lyrics are so mature and raw it hurts. They sound totally unique and are so damn sad, yet so damn beautiful.
John Cale, “Gun”
This song is PURE FUCKING ROCK & ROLL. Actually, Gómez got me into him and this song. Every time I listen to this song, I feel like going out on the town.