Matt Harvey is a fan of the San Francisco Giants. He shares the name of the NL East's pitcher of the future (for the record, I wrote this before his injury and really meant it) who happens to play for a certain NY-based franchise. He also really likes Metallica. Some of us here may hold those first two items against most people, but most people aren't Matt Harvey, guitarist/vocalist for Exhumed. After all, not only did the group he founded nearly a quarter-century ago just put out its second post-hiatus record, Necrocracy (which Daniel Lake raved about in our latest issue), but (a) the band's last record, All Guts, No Glory, was one of our top records of 2011 and (b) Harvey and company recently did us the kind favor of recording an exclusive track for our flexi series. You know what else we won't hold against Harv? An unthemed playlist. Despite the varied taste and sometimes surprising picks you'll read about below, his compilation of stuff he digs still gels together quite nicely...even if Exhumed needs to hire drivers with slightly more diverse listening habits. Feel free to listen along here and, while you're at it, pick up a copy of Necrocracy here.
Iron Maiden--Maiden Japan EP (1981) Our European driver is probably the biggest Soulfly/Sepultura/Max Cavalera fan I've ever seen. After a few days, we realized that we were going to have to commandeer the stereo unless we wanted to hear Soulfly most of the day, every day. I loaded up a thumb drive with a bunch of stuff, but this was the album on there that got me the most pumped--vintage Maiden at its most energetic and primal.
Hammock--Departure Songs (2012) This is what I put on my headphones when I want the world and more importantly my hangover to go away. The sweetest and gentle soundscapes out there move quietly through my brain and lull me to sleep with a peaceful smile on my ugly, unwashed face. This is probably the least metal thing you could possibly listen to, it's music with no rough edges whatsoever.
Teething/Ravage Ritual--Split 12" (2013) We did two shows in Spain with Teething and they blew me away with their powerful brand of grind/powerviolence. The b-side features Finland's Ravage Ritual, which was a nice find--grind with a hint of thrash and heavier stuff as opposed to Teething's unbridled, HM-2 fueled savagery.
Tokyo Blade--Midnight Rendezvous (1984) Anyone that knows me well knows that you're much more likely to hear Tygers of Pan Tang playing at my house than Regurgitate, and TB is one of my current faves from the much-ballyhooed NWOBHM. Great riffs, big choruses and hilarious spandex trousers equals a great fucking record that's catchy and intense.
Various Artists--Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-1968 I love garage rock and psychedelic stuff, and this compilation (as well as the Buffalo Springfield Best of) was in heavy rotation for me. With so many classic tracks, from Count Five's "Psychotic Reaction" to Love's "7 and 7 Is", to my personal favorite, "I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)" by The Electric Prunes, this box set is the ultimate primer to the underbelly of the '60s. The Seeds, Max Frost and the Troopers and The Amboy Dukes are just the tip of the iceberg of what's offered on this amazing compilation.
The Cure--Join The Dots: B-Sides And Rarities 1978-2001 (The Fiction Years) (2004) Bands in the '80s put out a ton of singles, and with those singles came b-sides. The Cure's early b-Sides were just as good as their album tracks, and Japanese Whispers is included in this awesome box set. It isn't until the Wish era (halfway through disc three) when the b-side quality starts to get spotty. A lot of this material is surprisingly whimsical and fun, from the taut, energetic "Another Journey By Train" to the calliope-esque chords in "Sugar Girl," but my favorite track is the chiming, lovelorn "Just One Kiss". There's definitely some chaff to be culled, but this is a collection of stuff from '78-'01, so that's pretty understandable.
Leonard Cohen--Songs From A Room (1969) When you're world weary, drunk and homesick, and you've already played all your Neil Young and Johnny Cash records to death, you move on to Leonard Cohen. Pretty dark stuff, but not in a trite weepy way, more in a world-weary, seen-too-much, drank-too-much kind of way. These quiet songs and that baritone punctuate the futility of your wasted and meaningless existence. Good stuff.
Chicago--Greatest Hits 1982-1989 (1989) [Bassist] Bud [Burke] and I are suckers for a great '80s pop song. Bud's favorite is Hall & Oates and mine is the over-produced, super-slick '80s hits of Chicago and Peter Cetera. When I'm extremely intoxicated, I live to blast "Hard Habit To Break" and loudly point out the intricate web of key changes, tension building chords and minor 4 chords in major progressions that make this a textbook example of excellent songcraft. I'm sure the other guys have heard this drunken rant dozens of times.
*Order a copy of Necrocracy here.
**We update one Spotify playlist for each new Decibrity entry, so feel free to subscribe to that here.
Past entries include:
Ulcerate Pelican Scale The Summit Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillity) (Part 1) (Part 2) Mouth Of The Architect Howl Kings Destroy Zozobra Call of the Void Saint Vitus Bar Coliseum Woe Anciients Soilwork (Dirk Verbeuren) (Björn Strid) Intronaut BATILLUS Inter Arma Helen Money Misery Index Ancient VVisdom Holy Grail Rotten Sound Ancestors (Part 1) (Part 2) Kowloon Walled City (Part 1) (Part 2) Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride) (Part 1) (Part 2) Early Graves All That Remains Bison B.C. A Life Once Lost Fight Amp Witchcraft (Ola Henriksson) (Magnus Pelander) Vision of Disorder Grave Anders Nyström (Katatonia) (Part 1) (Part 2) "Best of" Rush (Part 1) (Part 2) Dawnbringer Ufomammut Shadows Fall Horseback Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost) (Part 1) (Part 2) Torche "Best of" Meshuggah Astra Pallbearer Barren Earth Shane Embury (Napalm Death) (Part 1) (Part 2)