The all the best things happened in the 00s — McFly, the War on Terror… um… Match Attax!! Classic…
Go With The Flow – Queens Of The Stone Age (2002)
While my technical favourite song of the 00s is actually my favourite song of all time, I thought I’d bestow the honour upon the crown jewel of Songs For The Deaf. Much like it’s gorgeous music video, this a breakneck track, clocking in a 159 bpm with a hi-hat on the verge of shattering. The multiple guitar parts compliment each other brilliantly, the whines undercutting and gliding over the chugging riff, while the piano keeps the heartrate up like a shot of adrenaline. Josh’s vocals dance over this with a matter of urgency, with his most life-affirming lyrics on the album.
Dani California – Red Hot Chili Peppers (2006)
Possibly my favourite track built for a singalong, the chorus of this Stadium Arcadium diamond will get anyone chanting along with ease. Anthony’s lyrics, not his best, I can admit, still paint a picture of a character very well and SURE HE’S SINGING ABOUT CALIFORNIA AGAIN I GET IT, but it’s what he’s good at. The funk, while not at the forefront, is definitely there, as Flea wiggles through the solid, grounding beat from Chad. It’s the guitars on this fucker though, OH MY GOD. John outdoes himself here, the fuzzy tone on the chorus, kicking the shit out of the verse. Oh yes, and the solo — only the greatest guitar solo put to record, don’t @ me.
Long Road To Ruin – Foo Fighters (2007) – My ex-favourite Foo Fighters song (and still my favourite in my *heart*), this underloved single from Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, in all its chest-poundingness, is one of the Foos biggest-sounding songs. Taylor’s on particular form here, with his fills in the chorus being some of my faves, and Chris’ solo is a nice lil’ gem. It’s a nice big ballad, and continues to be one of their most overlooked tracks.
DARE – Gorillaz (2005) – itscominupitscominupitscominupitscominupitscominupitscominup it’s dare. At this point, depending on my reservation, I either; start bobbing my head or break into a full and almost frighteningly trance-like groove. Easily the finest dance track ever recorded, everything’s here — eerie post-punk synths, a solid four-to-the-floor beat and bass loop with more distortion than my suppressed childhood memories.
Fell In Love With A Girl – The White Stripes (2001) – If garage rock sounded like this (i.e. perfection), the world would have no troubles, and the stadiums would be empty because we’d all be packed into sweaty little alt gigs. I’ve touched on how much the track affected me in the music video picks, everything here resonates on a primal level, right down to fuzzed-up chanting and Meg’s caveman fuckery on the drums, all the way to Jack’s punky riff and vocals. Primarily the reason why The White Stripes are, in my mind, synonymous with this decade.
Porcupine Tree – Anesthetize (2007)
This was right on the edge of getting a place in my best song of all time category. Boasting a massive 17 minute runtime, this one’s a bigun, that’s for sure. And there is not one boring moment, not one moment that doesn’t belong where it is. There’s countless moments of power chord-laced, metallic bliss and the melodic power is immense with some of the catchiest moments I’ve known in music. Most importantly, however, it’s a journey, and one of the best journeys in music, packed with atmosphere – and, some would say, that’s what music is all about.
SOiL – Halo (2001) – I told you before that this is one of the greatest metal songs of all time. I’ll repeat that. This is one of the greatest metal songs of all time. It’s ICONIC. I spent about six years of my life singing this beauty, forgetting a few words but having a damn good time in the process. It slams into your eardrums like a flying fist and it’s flippin’ catchy while it does it.
Audioslave – Cochise (2002) – Again, this is absolutely iconic. One of the crown jewels of Chris Cornell’s discography, this is Audioslave’s greatest song and one of the greatest rock songs I’ve heard – if ever someone asks me what rock music is, this is what I show them. After that admittedly long intro, it’s got an instant impact riff like none other and as Chris screams his guts out over it and Wilk literally murders the drum kit with his knuckles, the power does not stop (aside from that hypnotic middle 8) and it’s a brilliant time.
Soilwork – Sworn to a Great Divide (2007) – This was my favourite song for about a year. Well, at least, it was constantly stuck in my head for that time and it still is. It’s heavy, no nonsense metal from the Swedes here, none of that silly emotional malarkey, it just delivers and it’s brilliant. It’s that chorus, though, that truly makes it. There is literally not a thing catchier in this entire world. Bjorn “Speed” Strid, I love you. Please marry me.
The Mars Volta – Tetragrammaton (2006) – It was very tough to decide what song to give this final spot, with many a Mars Volta song on the cusp, as well as System of a Down’s iconic Toxicity and Chop Suey! and a whole load of others — in fact, this has been the hardest list to put together of the whole lot. But I felt like, seeing as this band missed out on a mention in the albums category of this decade, it deserved a mention here. Tetragrammaton is 16 minutes, 41 seconds of pure guitar joy, a considered song structure which bounces off of the bending strings with emotive vocal turns and huge moments peppered throughout its runtime, and several pay-offs for the well-placed build up sections.
Lose Yourself – Eminem (2002)
Cornerstone – Arctic Monkeys (2009)
Strange that Arctic Monkeys most poetic and beguiling of English folksongs should come from the record where they got lost in the California desert with Queens Of The Stone Age.
Melancholy hangs thick in the air as Alex Turner goes from maritime themed boozer to maritime themed boozer getting off with girls to drown his sorrows.
Geraldine – Glasvegas (2008) – Glasgow’s heartbreak merchants Glasvegas raised the bar with this. The greatest indie rock anthem about a social worker ever recorded by the most Scottish indie band you could imagine.
This song has always put a big smile on my face. It’s a great band playing a heartfelt tribute to good people in the least glamours of callings.
Dashboard – Modest Mouse (2007) – This complex groove is layered with luxurious guitar, bass funk and horns. The bubbling vocal melodies of Isaac Brock’s famous voice tells a tale of optimism in the face of defeat and you just have to shake your butt to it. It is the rainbow bridge between indie and Funkadelic. Equal parts Motown, Chic and The Stones in the 70’s, the only people who don’t love Dashboard by Modest Mouse are those who haven’t heard it.
Supertramps and Superstars – Simple Kid (2003) – And so, in tribute, to those who were there, Simple Kid captures the barflys of the Barfly (“Don’t look for it, it’s not there anymore”) around 2003. I can’t imagine 35 years from now someone will be propping up the bar in Dingwalls telling tales of the night they partied with Foals, Hot Chip or Imagine Dragons (Camden is evolving now).
The Gush – Raging Speedhorn (2000) – The year 2000, Camden. The band was called Raging Speedhorn. How could that not be brilliant? Raging Speedhorn. What a name. They were very good indeed.
Doomy bass, squealing guitars, vocals through a distortion pedal, drums that fall like sturm und drang. Sweat rained from the venue roof. The pit convulsed. The band strafed the crowd with brutal noise. And I felt the best I had in ages. Few pints, snog a girl. Spill a kebab on my leather jacket and head for home. All problems solved. It was a simpler time.
‘2, 3, go, Urrrghhh!’ not the most inspiring lyrics out of context. But a ‘go to’ for me if ever I need cheering up.
Clocks – Coldplay (2002)
Lose Yourself – Eminem (2002)
Boulevard of Broken Dreams – Green Day (2004)
Stay tuned for more Best Thangs of All Time!