It’s so close to the weekend you can practically feel the tequila running down your throat. And I ask you, dear reader: what goes better with tequila than some face-melting, epic-sounding rock music? Nothing, you are absolutely correct. The weekend can’t come quick enough but, hopefully, these tunes will get you through the end of the workweek – throwback Thursday style.
1. Nirvana - "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
The angsty teenager grew up to become an angsty adult, and this raging riff-filled piece became their anthem. “But, Daddy, why do you like to listen to the angry man?”
2. The Dandy Warhols - "Bohemian Like You"
Probably one of the most recognizable intro riffs ever, it embodied the nonchalant attitude of the 90s… I would have posted the controversial original video (NSFW) but, as you probably remember, it has some pretty explicit nudity. Which, honestly, just adds to its appeal, right?
3. The White Stripes - "Seven Nation Army"
Okay, I withdraw my previous statement… this is arguably the most recognizable intro riff. Combined with Jack White’s crackling wispy vocals and multiple crescendos of crunchy guitar, this song is, and probably will always be, a rock classic, even if it is just 12 years old. Yeah, feeling old yet?
4. Blur - "Song 2"
If the two previous songs had very characteristic guitar intros, this song probably has the most iconic vocal intro with Blur lead singer Damon Albarn’s in-your-face “WOOHOO!” which is repeated throughout the song, forcing you every single time to pump your fist and “WOOHOO!” along.
Crunchy guitar? Check. Riotous drums? Check again. Vocals delivered by a suspiciously thin lead singer? Checkmate, you have a perfect throwback rock anthem.
5. The Cranberries - "Zombie"
It would be irreplaceably inexcusable of me to talk about great throwback Thursday rock songs and not mention the Irish Zombies that had everyone rock-yodeling in the mid-90s. Political, edgy, and grungy – what else is there to say?
6. The Smashing Pumpkins - "Bullet with Butterfly Wings"
The first verse of this song is: “The world is a vampire”. Underappreciated, but just as face-melting as any of the other songs on this list, it gets extra points for featuring a pre-head-shaved Billy Corgan. Oh, and here’s an honorable mention, because I love the band: “1979”.
7. Blues Traveler - "Run-Around"
Okay, so I also wanted to add the honorable mention to transition to this little smile-inducing ditty. Can you not help yourself but tap your foot along to the infectiously melodic guitar and upbeat, well, beat?
8. Spin Doctors - "Two Princes"
So, we’ve transitioned from the hard-rocking angst-driven grunge to something a little folksy, upbeat, and foot-tapping-able. And, if you cannot bob your head and sing along to this song, then you don’t have a soul.
9. Green Day - "Basket Case"
The 90s was arguably a kingdom conquered by post-punk, well, everything. On one side, you had the grunge bands – Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and the Smashing Pumpkins – and on the other, you had the pop-punk bands – Green Day, Blink-182, Sum 41, and the Offspring. Oh, speaking of which:
10. The Offspring - "Self Esteem"
Thankfully, dreadlocks on white dudes have since been restricted to campgrounds and hippie communes. Oh, about the song: it’s fast, has a catchy hook, and talks about people that are in bad relationships… What’s not to love about it?
11. R.E.M. - "Losing My Religion"
Although not exactly rock music, R.E.M.’s role in 90s music is undeniable, folksy, and introspective. The “Losing My Religion” video features a mono-browed mandolin player.
12. Pearl Jam - "Do the Evolution"
Not only is this song epic, it is also one of my favorite music videos directed by comic book artist and Spawn creator Todd McFarlane.
13. Beck - "Loser"
Sure, Kanye might have tried to grab the mike from him when he received the 2015 Grammy Award for Album of the Year for Morning Phase, but Kanye then heard a song from the album and said “I should listen to this every day” without knowing it was Beck’s. Boom!
What’s your favorite throwback Thursday rock song? Let me know in the comments section below!