Welcome back to Answer That and Stay Fashionable, where every week members of the Dying Scene team will take a question posed by you, the readers, and pour their hearts out in regards to all things punk rock: from favorite records and show experiences to embarrassing purchases and fashion styles. If it’s punk, it’s fair game. This week’s question:
“What are your favorite opening lyrics to an album?”
You can read our answers below.
This kind of thing changes on a pretty regular basis for me, but right now I’d say that the first lyrics sung on Iron Chic’s Not Like This always makes me smile. “I want to smash my face into that goddamn radio!” often sums up how I feel at the end of a long work week, and kudos to Iron Chic for being able to channel that feeling perfectly into a song. If you’re unfamiliar with the song (“Cutesy Monster Man”), I suggest you check it out:
“I’m not here to entertain you.”
As many of you know that’s the opening line to NOFX’s “60%” which is the opening track on “Wolves in Wolves Clothing,” and it was the first thing that came into my head when I saw this question.
The line serves as a reminder that famous musicians are real people who have lives that continue off the stage, rather than characters who only exist when we’re witnessing them. I love it specifically as a preface to the rest of album because he being straight forward and telling you how things are, leaving it up to you to decide what you think about it.
When I saw them in Cleveland last December they opened with this song and they opened with it at Amnesia Rockfest as well and you can check out the video of that. I think it is a fitting set starter at this point in their careers.
“The other day I swear to god I got a letter in the mail that said register with us or you’re gonna go to jail. You’ll be put inside a cage, then forced to enlist. Well I laughed out loud, said I won’t comply to be labeled as one of those who qualify to be shipped off to fight some fucking war. ‘Cause your war’s not about policy-religion. It’s about economy and I’m not dying to set your country free.”
“Firecracker” was the first Strung Out song I ever heard and I’ve been hooked on the band ever since I heard Jim Cherry’s bass kick in. It’s just an amazing song. The lyrics are nuts… the amount of words Jason Cruz manages to fit into so few lines is something that’s always amazed me. It’s like the ultimate riddle.
“Love your hate- your faith lost. You are now one of us.”
Even though Sing the Sorrow has always been my tipping point with AFI (from “I love you so much” to “What were you thinking?!?”) “Miseria Cantare (The Beginning)” remains a great album opener. It’s dark, haunting, and shouted by a gang of a thousand angry voices. Pulling the curtain back to start the show, it creates a perfectly dramatic stage for the rest of the album. AFI (always a bit more theatrical than necessary) used only a few words to tap into a feeling of solitude, twist it into solidarity, all the while showing a deep knowledge of who their fan base was and was growing to include. While I find it difficult to listen to anything AFI has recently produced, “Miseria” remains a strong encapsulation of a time, a feeling, and a scene.
“Evelyn sits by the elevator doors, it’s been 37 years since James died on Saint Patrick’s Day 1964” -Against Me!’s Reinventing Axl Rose
“I’m parting the sea, between brightness and me.” -Touche Amore’s Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me