Saturday, July 12, 2008

#9 DragonForce

Ok, so in case you haven't ever heard this song or seen the video, HERE. Apparently this song is the expert level of Guitar Hero 2 or something. But still, please take 5 minutes to enjoy, and let me talk about it.

OK - had this song come out in 1991, it would TO THIS DAY be the greatest song that has ever happened. I think now that if my mom were to hear this song right now, she would insist that I used to play this every time she drove carpool and that Jim and I used to try to play this on guitar. All of my high school friends would meet every year and have a party to commemorate the first time we heard this song. It would have been the #1 song on Dial MTV for more weeks than Metallica's One and Bon Jovi's Living on a Prayer combined. George Bush Sr. would have been elected to a second term based solely on the fact that it came out during his presidency. Peace in the Middle East - you get the point.

Instead, it comes out some 15 years after when it would have worked. But still, so much to love about this song and video. First of all, the lyrics. It seems like a poem that someone wrote during smoke breaks at a Dungeons and Dragons tournament taking place at a Renaissance Fair. Really - the guys from Iron Maiden heard this song and were like, how come we never wrote this?

Also, the guys in the band - the lead singer totally looks like Weird Al. Then, the Asian guitar player - his lack of emotion and soul makes Paul Gilbert blush. But his hair! Holy crap, his hair! It goes to his waist and it looks like it is so soft that it would make silk feel like sandpaper by comparison. It makes Crystal Gayle want to move somewhere more humid just so she can keep up. Then, the other guitarist, who obviously isn't as fast as the hair guitar - he could easily be the lead guitarist for any other band, but has to play second fiddle to Speedy McGee. It has driven him to drink!

That leads us into the guitar solo. What can I say? Please, if you started to watch it and stopped, go back to 3:22 of the video and just enjoy. Every metal band should be forced to go to a 2 guitar system like this - bring in the one guy to spell the other. I am convinced that this video led to most NFL teams going to a 2 running back system in their offense. Genius. I mean, the hair guitar guy - he is totally coming at the fretboard from the top down at times when he doesn't have to, just to show off. He isn't even hitting every note, but at that speed, who cares? When he needs a break, cool beer drinking second guy comes in. I hope first round pick Rashard Mendenhall is able to work this well with Willie Parker in Pittsburgh next season. Plus, the way they just single out the guitarists during the solo with closeups of their hands - brilliant. I really feel like I am watching something special here.

A couple of "cool" moments to watch for during the video - close up of Weird Al's eyes at the beginning, which is just goofy; when hair guitar picks up his guitar with the whammy bar, a la Steve Vai; do a shot every time someone wipes the hair out of their face - just try it; then all the random slow-motion clips, the lighting, the "directing" including random camera shakes when the song is kicking ass. Seriously - are they joking? Is this parody or some sort of satire even?

So yeah, this is totally a guilty pleasure for me. Really, the whole thing is surreal - is this really happening? Did this video really come out in 2006? It isn't even like The Darkness - there is no sign that this band is in on the joke. Which makes it more awesome.

Sometimes I think that corporations control music, and that sometimes we go away from trends in music prematurely just to fit some sort of agenda or something. For instance, was anyone really ready for grunge to end? Did the grunge era even last 5 full years? But then think - how many of the top 50 songs of your lifetime come from the grunge era? Was music really only that good for 5 years, or did economic prosperity of the 90s lead us away from the angst which defined grunge? Come back, grunge!!!!

Then there is this song - were we really ready for hair bands to go away completely? I mean, I see Sebastian Bach on Gilmore Girls, Brett Michaels has his own TV show, CC Deville is on the Surreal Life - it didn't need to go away. Sometimes, we need a band to come along to show us that we still love this crap - that is what this video is for me. Hair bands rule!!!