I'm amused by this recent study by Stuart Cadwallader and Jim Campbell at the University of Warwick. They conclude that gifted students use heavy metal music to unwind. There's a nice write up at the Telegraph about it. The best quote is:
"Participants said they appreciated the complex and sometimes political themes of heavy metal music more than perhaps the average pop song. It has a tendency to worry adults a bit but I think it is just a cathartic thing. It does not indicate problems."
I'm not saying I was a "stressed gifted social outsider" as student, but I have always preferred fast and noisy music over easy listening. I don't really get why most "pop" have to be so boring. The majority of the songs I hear on the radio has melodies that are slow and repetitive and lyrics that are uninspired and boring, repeating some short and stupid sentence over and over again.

I'm convinced that fast music makes the brain work harder to decipher what is going on. I think it took over 10 times of listening before I could hear the whole lyrics to 88 Finger Louie's "I've Won". Great song, nice melodies and very very fast. Adam Goren's (Atom And His Package) music is not that fast but the lyrics are probably the best ever. Very funny and because of the rhymes and word plays it's not always obvious what he's joking about.

That is the kind of music that grows on you. A song or album where you hear every twist of the melody and every word of text the first time you hear it will bore you very quickly. The brain is a pattern matching machine and to keep it happy we have to feed it tricky enough patterns to solve. I think different people have different limits, and I think mine is somewhere at The Dillinger Escape Plan. (Calculating infinity is an amazing album).

Some of my favourites:
88 Fingers Louie, Abhinanda, Atom And His Package, Bad Religion, Beatsteaks, Billy Talent, Blindside, Boy Sets Fire, Children Of Bodom, Coheed And Cambria, Down By Law, Goldie Lookin' Chain, In Flames, Incubus, Jr Ewing, Looking Forward, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Nine, Nirvana, NOFX, Q.O.T.S.A, R.A.T.M, Raised Fist, Rancid, S.O.A.D, Shai Hulud, Snapcase, Social Distortion, Spineshank, Stabb, Sublime, Sugar Ray, The Black Keys, The Bronx, The Hives, The White Stripes, The Who, Tiger Army, Tool and Zeke.

Also, always support your favorite band and go to their show if they're playing in town!

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