Monday, May 31, 2004

GODSMACK - A Study in Truly Inspirational Lyrics and Musicianship

Recently I was inspired by the Matchbox Twenty mp3 enjoying critic-less acclaim on the internet to conduct a study of one of my favorite rock groups - Godsmack. Since the beginning of their modern rock domination, I have always noticed that their songs seem to share a repeating theme - the use of the vowel sound "ayyyyyyyyyy" in the chorus (usually with the word "away"). I decided to go through their catalogue and document exactly how many of their songs utilized this theme. Though listening to 40 Godsmack songs in a row seems a bit obsessive and dangerous, I was careful to listen to each track closely. Doing so revealed much more than a constant use of the word "away." For instance, 4 out 5 songs begin with a metal riff sans vocals. Everyone cuts out for a beat, and then they come back in more sparsely, with Sully in command. The format is:

riff - verse - chorus - riff (if you're lucky, Sully will improvise a vocal rhythm using part of a word he just said - kind of like a DJ but without scratching) - verse chorus - wah guitar solo - chorus - short instrumental riff cut tight OR psychedelic spiritual fade out

The Matchbox Twenty phenomenon probably can't be applied, because the tempos and chorus lengths do differ (between albums), but rest assured, there is something magnificent at work here. Truly, this band has managed to release three full albums (multi platinum?!) and one acoustic EP (consisting of mostly old songs) of the same song over and over. Here is a collection of Sully's inspired vocalizing:

Godsmack Please Go Away

One could also create a sonic collection of the introductory riffs, or the wah solos, or the endings... but truly, it would be unbearable.

Here is the track listing. Tracks with a star next to them were found to contain the "Away Contingent." Each song is separated by 1/2 second, each album by 1 second. Some samples contain multiple segments of the same song spliced together. Songs that were released twice were only used once.

Godsmack (1999)
1. Moon Baby *
2. Whatever *
3. Keep Away *****
4. Time Bomb *
5. Bad Religion *
6. Immune *
7. Someone In London (instrumental)
8. Get Up Get Out *
9. Now Or Never *
10. Stress *
11. Situation
12. Voodoo *

Awake (2001)
1. Sick Of Life
2. Awake *
3. Greed *
4. Bad Magic *
5. Goin' Down *
6. Mistakes
7. Trippin' *
8. Forgive Me *
9. Vampires (instrumental)
10. Journey (instrumental)
11. Spiral *

Faceless (2003)
1. Straight Out Of Line *
2. Faceless *
3. Changes *
4. Make Me Believe *
5. I Stand Alone *
6. Re-Align
7. I Fucking Hate You *
8. Releasing The Demons *
9. Dead And Broken *
10. I Am *
11. The Awakening (instrumental?)
12. Serenity *
13. Keep Away (live) (n/a)
14. Awake (live) (n/a)

The Other Side (2004) EP
1. Running Blind
2. Re-Align
3. Touchi *
4. Voices
5. Keep Away (n/a)
6. spiral (n/a)
7. Asleep *


Anonymous said...

Do you really enjoy Godsmack that much ? Or were you studying them for the sake of sarcasm ?

Jorge Laboy said...

Somebody doesn't understand satire