Roll the List #20: Dalton’s Take

Top 5 Underrated Rock Songs, Dalton’s Take

The word “underrated” can be defined in so many ways: unpopular, unappreciated, disrespected…And I personally don’t know how I choose to define it here, other than to pick 5 “rock” songs you probably haven’t heard. My indie/alternative rock collection spans some relatively unknowns, which I will take this category as an opportunity to share with you in at least a couple of the spots. Let’s take a look.

5. Sang Real, Dredg – Like a poor man’s Muse, Dredg features a melodic/experimental feel that provides a nice sound combined with poetic/cryptic lyrics. If I wanted to have a pretentious “I know more awesome bands you’ve never heard of” argument with a friend back in my teenager years when your identity is defined by your musical preferences, this would be the first band I would go to.

4. This Could Be Anywhere in the World, ¬†Alexisonfire – What happens when you combine the ambient melodies and calming voice of Dallas Green with the post-metal themes and screams of George Pettit? You get a sound that may please and displease you at the same time. While I am not one for screaming in music as a general opinion, Alexisonfire is one of my favorite bands, particularly because I love the overlapping of hardcore punk rock with alternative ambience. It’s like a schizophrenic Beethoven…you know…if he was a little more angsty. I imagine this is what Tommy Lee Jones’ Two-Face would have listened to on a regular basis.

3. We Looked Like Giants, Death Cab for Cutie – I’m probably not blowing anyone’s minds with the band Death Cab for Cutie, but We Looked Like Giants is an oft-overlooked song that I think is a gem amidst their many singles. I love Death Cab’s ability to use symbolic lyrics to formulate a powerful story/image for the listener. Such is the case with this song, that was one of my favorite go-to hopeless romantic songs in my teen years.

2. Down with the Ship, Enter the Haggis – Perhaps I know nothing of their level of fame, but I feel Enter the Haggis (now Jubilee Riots) is an under-appreciated Irish/Celtic-themed rock band that lives in the shadow of the likes of Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly. While Enter the Haggis lacks the stage presence and intensity of the two aforementioned punk bands (though you wouldn’t think that from the band name), Enter the Haggis provides a unique sound that doesn’t shy from traditional Celtic instruments and lyrical persuasion. No song encompasses all that is awesome about this band as much as Down with the Ship. Worth a listen if you haven’t heard it, even (perhaps especially) if you don’t like Dropkick and Molly.

1. One More Day, Lydia – Lydia is a relatively unknown (I think) band that has been around since 2003 (though under a different name), when the key members were just in high school. With a very ambient, melodic feel, the band is not going to blow your socks off with some hard strumming and killer drumming. It will, however, make you cry if you can’t let go of traumas from high school. I love the vocal battles of Leighton Antelman and Mindy White through most of their songs, none showcasing the downtrodden duets better than in their contest-winning title Smile You’ve Won. While that is still one of my favorite songs of theirs, I prefer the lyrics of One More Day…and it’s newer…and newer is better, right?

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