Best of 2016 Playlist

April 21, 2016

Top 10 Alternative Rock Throwback Songs

Yes we know that these days "alt. rock" is just a very large generalization of many genres. But we're still going to give this "Throwback" a go. Remember, we've already done throwbacks lists for pop punk and emo, both of which technically fall under the alt. rock category. So if you think we missed a song, be sure to click the respective links and check those lists for songs. We're also working on a "hard rock" list, so a song may appear there.  
 Any song is fair game so long as it is at least 5 years old.To see our honorable mentions click the following (link).

10. "Savior" - Rise Against

There are so many great songs under this band's belt. Perhaps their most recognized, and most successful is the third and final single released from the band's 5th album. Not without some controversy, "Savior" marks a distinct shift from the band's usual lyrical themes. Instead of attacking politics, the song addresses relationships and absolution. The palm muted intro gives way for a classic high speed intro, and then an equally fast verse. When the song gets around to the chorus, the only thing going through our heads is to get up and starting singing it at the top of our lungs. A true rock anthem from one of the best modern punk rock bands. 

9. "Viva la Vida" - Coldplay 

The band gets a lot of grief for "formulaic" arena pop rock songs. But everyone can give them a pass on this song. "Viva la Vida" has become one of the band's most recognizable tracks. Lead by powerful string section and the steady beat from the bass drums, Chris Martin's voice is layered on perfectly. It's all too common to hear mainstream production smothering the instruments in order to draw focus on a vocalist. "Viva la Vida" finds the perfect balance between each band member's part. The entire song has a very "classical" feel to it. As if the band went back in time and plucked this song straight from some unknown classical composer. It's hard to love "Viva la Vida", and even harder to turn it off once it starts playing. 

8. "Californication", "Scar Tissue", "Dani California" - Red Hot Chili Peppers 

There are far too many songs from this band we could have picked. Narrowing it down to three was the main reason for the delay in the release of this list. Just couldn't make up our minds. On one hand, we've got two of the band's most recognized songs, both off the eponymous "Californication". Then there's the lead single from RHCP's 9th studio album, "Stadium Arcadium". Don't worry, we're working on a "Best of the Artist" for RHCP so we'll get more decisive then. But for this list we'll let you decide which is the more memorable. 

7. "The Middle" - Jimmy Eat World 

Ushering in the era of "emo", this song deals with themes of isolation and alienation. Written during a period where the band felt particularly down on their luck. "Bleed American" being Jimmy Eat World's 4th album, the band was really struggling to get by. "The Middle" reflects their mindset. Feeling left out and invisible, the lyrical content makes it easy for angsty countless teens to relate. The song recalls memories of Weezer's early songs with its poppy chorus and very simple structure. A win win combination, as this remains JEW's most successful song, and their signature. 

6. "Supermassive Black Hole" - Muse 

From the heavily distorted guitar riff, to Matt Bellamy's falsetto, to the electronic edge makes this song one of Muse's most recognizable, and one of their more controversial. The band's funk inspired song was criticized for being an attempt to open the band to more mainstream audiences. In contrast to their past work, they "simplified" their usually complex progressive rock style. But we love it all the same. The song is propelled by the aforementioned guitar riff, and Bellamy's vocals, which make it a must have for any 00s rock playlist. And oddly enough, the dance beats and the "spacey" vibes from this track are now very prevalent in Muse's style. On a side note, the track will turn 10 on June 17 this year. 

5. "Buddy Holly" - Weezer

Weezer recently released their 10th album, which featured a more nostalgic style. Recalling the days of this song. "Buddy Holly" was released as the second single from the band's debut album. And it has since proven to be one of their most popular songs. The catchy, "vintage" vibe from the song is so infectious, and that effect is tripled once the chorus kicks in. This song is almost the epitome of "throwback" with all the oldie references, and the "crunchy" production. 

4. "American Idiot" - Green Day 

Really anything from the band before "21st Century Breakdown" is a throwback. But the "American Idiot" album from 2004 is without a doubt Green Day at their best. And the title track is one of the band's most memorable. A direct jab at American politics and the Iraq war, it can definitely get your blood boiling. It's a simple chord progression really, but it does the job. Because when you hear the main riff you know spit's about to get serious. Lyrics that call out the media and journalist for "sensationalizing" war and violence, among other things. If you listen to this and still don't think Green Day is a punk rock band, we'd like to hear a more defiant song from a more defiant band. 

3. "Seven Nation Army" - The White Stripes

Now one of the most iconic guitar riffs, this song is an all around winner. From the steady thump of the bass drum, to the resonating guitar, "Seven Nation Army" is an instant classic. If you can't recognize this song upon hearing it, shame on you. The song doesn't have the typical verse-bridge-chorus pattern most rock songs are built on. Rather, "Seven Nation Army" highlights Jack White's deep guitar riff. Meant to give the impression of a bass guitar, it's this riff that has led to the song's popularity. Coupled with the empowering and somewhat defiant lyrics, you have a modern rock anthem. 

2. "In the End" - Linkin Park 

Nu metal and rap rock get a bad reputation from bands like Limp Bizkit, Korn and Papa Roach. Linkin Park is everything right about the genre. The band's breakthrough single, "In the End", was released as the finale single from their iconic debut album. Featuring dual vocals from Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda, "Hybrid Theory" seems an appropriate title for the album seeing as how prominent the fusion of rap and metal are. As usual Bennington's performance on the song is the highlight. Though we could have done without the effects on his vocals. Click this (link) to hear the song's vocals. We highly recommend you listen because the vocals are that much more powerful when they standalone.  

1. "The Pretender" - Foo Fighters

This track broke records, and has become one of the band's signature songs. Off their 6th album, as well as serving as the lead single, "The Pretender" opens with a bright, clean guitar melody and Dave Grohl's gruff singing. But once the song comes alive, it's like a firework display. There's no stopping the song after it picks up in the verse. Fast forward to the chorus, and that pretty much explains it all. Hard to believe this song is almost 9 years old.