New Music Tuesday: The Dark Side

Yep, let’s go there.

I enjoy a smattering of pop music like anyone else, but just thinking about the saccharine invasion that will be kicking in this summer, I felt it was a good time to share a little of the opposite, some musical sunscreen if you will, from some lesser-known musicians out of the 90s and early 2000s.

I’m not talking full-on death metal or even heavy metal (though a little screaming here and there can be great). Let’s start light and finish a little scary…

The Bronx “False Alarm”

This is a great poppy punk-rock song. The best part is definitely the accompanying vintage horror-movie laden video. If you want to hear a band with range, check out their alter-ego band Mariachi El Bronx, a better-than-average Mariachi band that just happened to be a good chunk of my wedding soundtrack.

Ours “Fallen Souls”

Ours is a little-known, slightly “gothy” rock band. Lead singer Jimmy Gnecco is a twig of a man with a vocal range, envied allegedly, by his late friend Jeff Buckley. Wait for the good scream at 3:13 seconds in. Oh, and he sings love songs, too. His one mainstream hit, Someone To Die For, was featured on the “Spiderman 2” soundtrack.

Coheed and Cambria “Welcome Home”

Coheed and Cambria is a great prog rock band with a cult following. The storytelling in their albums is great, and if you need actual pictures to see it, they’ve transposed it all into a comic book series for you called Amory Wars.

Dethklok “Bloodrocuted”

It’s a cartoon band! It won’t be too scary, I promise!

Treat yourself to a few episodes of Metalocalypse to catch a deeper look into this not-of-this-earth heavy metal band headed by Nathan Explosion. The song “Bloodrocuted” is emblematic of the wry humor of the show – being electrocuted by blood… Ironically, the beats are perfect for the elliptical, try it sometime!

Sergei Rachmaninov – Prelude in C-sharp minor

Rachmaninov’s “Prelude in C-sharp minor” is a beautiful, dark and dramatic dirge.

It’s an impressive piece that builds to a goose bump-inducing crescendo around 2:00.

The piece is thought to be inspired by a nightmare Sergei had about feeling around blindly in the dark and the realization he was in a coffin. The crescendo of the song is emblematic of the feverish panic to get out. As a teenager learning to play the piece, try as I might, I was never able get through the second half of the song, let alone practice it without every single light in the house on.