Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tunesday: "Alive & Amplified," The Mooney Suzuki

I was very tempted to choose a more obscure track from The Mooney Suzuki (why yes, it was the soundtrack of a Suzuki Grand Vitara ad), but Noel Gallagher of Oasis compells me to feature it today ("Play it f*&^ing loud and it WILL destroy buildings"). You heard the man.

Why do I like running to this song? For starters, the raw energy, sweet-ass hook and unpolished quality. While it sounds like a live take with few studio tweaks, it's not; in fact, when the record came out, The Mooney Suzuki received a lot of guff for producing a "slick" album with The Matrix — the pop production team best known for working with Avril Lavigne and Hilary Duff and making Liz Phair's worst album (yes, the one that Pitchfork scored 0.0). So, yeah, compared to earlier efforts like "Electric Sweat" and "People Get Ready," "Alive & Amplified" is poppy and polished. Nothing wrong with that when the results are so damn great.

This band also has become a go-to for Madison Avenue. Besides that Suzuki clip, you've heard NYC's greatest living garage rock band in commercials for SAP ... Coors (can't find the clip, but the original video for the song —  "In A Young Man's Mind" — features Jack Black) ... and Nike (The Mooney Suzuki penned a version of "Don't Fence Me In" for the mighty Swoosh, but as you can hear, it's not them performing it in the commercial).

Finally, I greatly respect that the band members look like they graduated from the Ric Ocasek School of How to Not Look Like A Golden God of Rock 'N' Roll. In fact, they took all the same classes as The Ramones.

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