‘WHEN THE WORLD GETS IN YOUR FACE, I SAY,’ “HAVE A NICE DAY,”‘ DECLARES BON JOVI IN SUNSET & CLARK’S TOP FIVE FEEL-GOOD HEAVY METAL TRACKS TO TACKLE ANY DISTRESS
Ever since the first time I heard the incredible, amp-shaking, adrenalin-pumping sounds of heavy metal–courtesy of a neighbor introducing me to KISS Alive in fifth grade–I have relied on metal music as a mood adjuster.
I crank up good ol’ hard rock to try to block out the world at times when it’s just not making sense, like when the daily headlines are over-crowded with news about riots, the recession, natural disasters and Miley Cyrus.
Over the years I have maintained a mental list of deeply therapeutic heavy metal mood setters that have always helped to make things feel a whole lot better when they just weren’t feeling right with the state of the modern world.
Here’s a list of Sunset & Clark’s five all-time greatest hard and heavy classics for dealing with any challenging situation.
“When the world keeps trying to drag me down,
I’ve gotta raise my hands, gonna stand my ground.”
When it comes to perfectly crafted feel-good anthems, Jon Bon Jovi is the grand messiah of mainstream metal. And while kick-ass classics like “It’s My Life,” “Everyday” and “Keep the Faith” are stellar and inspiring tracks that always provide an intrinsic kick, Bon Jovi‘s title track to 2005’s Have a Nice Day is hands down one of the best and most bad ass songs in the band’s expansive catalog.
Make this track the ringer for your cell’s alarm clock app and you’re virtually guaranteed to wake up empowered and ready to face the day.
“Never cared for what they say.
Never cared for games they play.
Never cared for what they do.
Never cared for what they know.
And I know.”
In HBO’s Paradise Lost doc on the West Memphis Three, the mom of Jessie Misskelley, Jr., one of the accused teens, was asked how she held on to her sanity when her innocent son was being held in jail for three child murders. She revealed that she and Jessie sang Metallica‘s “Nothing Else Matters” to one another during jail visits.
Metallica’s 1991 track from The Black Album also works well in buffering bad moods during those times when you’re forced to deal with your own less dramatic drama.
“Express yourself in the face of change.
Repress yourself, you surely seal your fate.
You got to look inside; the answer lies in wait.
Resurrect before it’s too late.”
Like Bon Jovi, the guys in Poison are also metal masters at crafting empowering anthems that inspire equal parts self-reflection and some serious fist pumping, like “Something to Believe In” and “Cry Tough.”
Should you ever find your personal integrity challenged, however, it’s the Sunset Strip-launched band’s timeless track “Stand,” from 1993’s Native Tongue, that will super-charge your confidence and make you wanna unskinny bop all night long!
“Don’t need to wait for an invitation;
You gotta live like you’re on vacation.”
Ever have a bad day that seemed to last a week? Overwhelmed by the daily grind? Fortunately, when times get tough there’s always KISS to remind us all that “it ain’t a crime to be good to yourself” in the killer KISS classic “Lick It Up.”
Vinnie Vincent‘s scorching guitar attack, Eric Carr‘s full-throttle percussion and KISS’ early ’80s harder edged sound effortlessly power up a universal ode about learning to appreciate and enjoy the here and now.
The 1983 track from KISS’ eleventh album of the same name is not only one of the most powerful feel-good gems in the band’s catalog, it’s also one of the greatest classics in the history of heavy metal.
“There’s somethin’ wrong with the world today.
The light bulb’s gettin dim.
There’s meltdown in the sky…”
Rock legend Steven Tyler penned 1993’s “Living on the Edge” in response to the ’92 L.A. Riots, and over 20 years later, the Aerosmith classic still holds up as a reliable and rockin’ reminder that you’re not the only who sometimes feels like you just can’t stop yourself from falling. And through it all, Tyler stands tough and declares: “We can tell ’em no or we could let it go, but I would rather be a hanging on.” Guess there’s still reason to dream on.