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Old 02.13.2021, 12:33 PM   #1
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Lately when I have a long assignment to do on the computer that doesn't have anything to do with music, I've been going to the TV Tropes article on Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness and flipping through the various levels to get some background music. Sonic Youth have a few entries in the example lists, starting with "Incinerate" at Level 3, but they top it off with "Freezer Burn/I Wanna Be Your Dog" at Level 10 (alongside artists/bands like Burzum and Periphery) just because of the roughness of the recording. They rank "Silver Rocket" at Level 8 for the noise section alone.

I don't think "FB/IWBYD" should be ranked as their hardest song. I'd give that honor to "Orange Rolls, Angel's Spit" because it's so discordant plus the aggression of Kim's vocals. Which would you guys pick, and for those familiar, where would you rank it on the scale?
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Old 02.13.2021, 09:04 PM   #2
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Old 02.13.2021, 11:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneticKiss
Lately when I have a long assignment to do on the computer that doesn't have anything to do with music, I've been going to the TV Tropes article on Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness and flipping through the various levels to get some background music. Sonic Youth have a few entries in the example lists, starting with "Incinerate" at Level 3, but they top it off with "Freezer Burn/I Wanna Be Your Dog" at Level 10 (alongside artists/bands like Burzum and Periphery) just because of the roughness of the recording. They rank "Silver Rocket" at Level 8 for the noise section alone.

I don't think "FB/IWBYD" should be ranked as their hardest song. I'd give that honor to "Orange Rolls, Angel's Spit" because it's so discordant plus the aggression of Kim's vocals. Which would you guys pick, and for those familiar, where would you rank it on the scale?

Hmm, "hardest/heaviest"... I gotta mull on that for a bit, but since you mention "Orange Rolls, Angel's Spit": I haven't listened to Dirty in a while (not the main album, anyway; I gave the 2003 bonus disc a spin a coupla weeks ago), but when I bought in on cassette in 1992 it sounded damn harsh to me - with earbuds on, it made my eardrums hurt, even at an, um, "appropriate" volume. That's what you get when you filter Sonic Youth through "grunge", or viceversa, I guess. Or maybe Butch Vig and Andy Wallace were sick of hearing Kurt Cobain say Nevermind sounded too freakin' polished, so they went for the throat. In any case, I think some fine tunes were buried there.
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Old 02.15.2021, 12:36 PM   #4
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Old 02.15.2021, 01:25 PM   #5
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Old 02.15.2021, 03:21 PM   #6
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according that scale, "ghost bitch" might fit? or "society is a hole" or "i'm insane"

most of bmr fits the description
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Old 02.15.2021, 06:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by !@#$%!
according that scale, "ghost bitch" might fit? or "society is a hole" or "i'm insane"

most of bmr fits the description
The easiest metric I can think of for the scale how easy a band or artist's music is to listen to for the average person, or a scale of melodic vs. atonal. Not all artists at Levels 10 and 11 are metal; there are some electronic and avant garde groups/artists like Autechre and Diamanda Galas up there as well.

But, like all things we're talking about something relative (or as TV Tropes would put it, Your Mileage May Vary) here. To someone into say, blackened death metal, none of SY's songs are hard/heavy at all. I'm talking more in terms of compared with all of their other songs more than on the scale.

Another album full of candidates is probably Confusion Is Sex, especially if you count the reissue that includes the Kill Yr Idols EP. I can say it was rather unsettling for me the first time (although having been sick probably made it worse)...
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Old 02.15.2021, 07:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneticKiss
The easiest metric I can think of for the scale how easy a band or artist's music is to listen to for the average person, or a scale of melodic vs. atonal. Not all artists at Levels 10 and 11 are metal; there are some electronic and avant garde groups/artists like Autechre and Diamanda Galas up there as well.

But, like all things we're talking about something relative (or as TV Tropes would put it, Your Mileage May Vary) here. To someone into say, blackened death metal, none of SY's songs are hard/heavy at all. I'm talking more in terms of compared with all of their other songs more than on the scale.


Yikes, so many variables. And I don't think I'd ever seen a piece of text containing the word "metal" 156 times (real number according to Firefox ). On the issue of what rattles the listener: I had a collegemate (who happened to be a metal fan) who was fundamentally incapable of tolerating any female vocals. Seriously, the guy would react viscerally and turn the stereo off. I don't know what the fuck his problem was.

Anyway, the most brutal song EVER that I can think of is Richard & Linda Thompson's "The End Of The Rainbow", which probably sounds like just another sad acoustic tune to most people and wouldn't make that list even if I hacked the site.
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Old 02.16.2021, 01:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneticKiss
But, like all things we're talking about something relative (or as TV Tropes would put it, Your Mileage May Vary) here.
oh, you went and looked at this in depth. i can't tell you if their picks have any internal consistency with their definitions. i just went with "distortion" and "dark themes" lololol, plus some personal intuitions. but yes the earlier albums are "heavier" whatever than means.

"brother james" or "she's in a bad mood" or "inhuman"--pretty heavy. i mean relatively to the rest.

with the ep, richard edson's drumming is too funky for me to be "heavy."

as for other songs, i was going to throw in "in the kingdom #19" as well and forgot to write it.

musical inaccessibility is something else altogether for me though. eg "lee is free" defies many conventions of popular intelligibility and it's in the in the middle of a "heavy" album, but to me it sounds like beautiful meditative bells with the guitar harmonics (?). nothing dark about that mood and nothing heavy. it's rather angelic and... leaning to ethereal (but not quite). the dissonances are almost camouflage. whatever anxiety was there resolves into joy.

maybe heavy is what garca lorca called "duende". too long to explain... but... it's the art that rather than seek beauty, or display cleverness, struggles against death.

https://aion.mx/literatura/teoria-y-juego-del-duende
https://www.carmeloveneto.it/joomla/...del_duende.pdf
https://www.poetryintranslation.com/...orcaDuende.php (i am not sure about this translation, but appears enthusiastic)

but maybe i got it all wrong hahahaha
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Old 02.17.2021, 10:02 AM   #10
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White Kross is a heavy tune.
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Old 02.17.2021, 10:45 AM   #11
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Eliminator Jr., I’d say.
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Old 02.17.2021, 12:31 PM   #12
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for me its Karen Koltrane.
slow, low tuned guitars, raw and brutal riffs, Lee vocals. SWANSish.
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Old 02.17.2021, 06:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _slavo_
White Kross is a heavy tune.
especially the napalm death cover!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQS6BqXEe9w

Quote:
Originally Posted by Severian
Eliminator Jr., I’d say.

yes! good call

Quote:
Originally Posted by redhead
for me its Karen Koltrane.
slow, low tuned guitars, raw and brutal riffs, Lee vocals. SWANSish.
for me 50/50 because true, and parts of it are that way, but the beat is fairly light not a demolisher and there's a pretty melodic side to it and vocal harmonies even near the end. but parts of it yes.
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Old 02.18.2021, 02:01 AM   #14
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Inhuman.
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Old 02.23.2021, 01:25 AM   #15
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The live version of Shaking Hell on Kill Yr Idols EP
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Old 02.24.2021, 09:03 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by !@#$%!
especially the napalm death cover!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQS6BqXEe9w






I'd say the Napalm Death cover is completely the same as original, besides Barney's growling. I was hoping for them to get a little extra to the tune but they didn't.
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Old 02.24.2021, 04:57 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _slavo_
I'd say the Napalm Death cover is completely the same as original, besides Barney's growling. I was hoping for them to get a little extra to the tune but they didn't.
they actually get a little less to the tune. it's somewhat dumbed down, therefore "heavier", lol.

the growls are also definitely heavier than thurston's nasal voice. makes a big difference to my ears.
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Old 02.26.2021, 01:26 PM   #18
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I think probably something from the SYR series might be my choice but it’s been a while since I’ve given them a spin. Or maybe that Fishtank record.

Like the idea of a Mohs hardness scale, not a fan of the execution (and Ohm’s scale of rock would be better). There are more ways for music to be heavy than just distorted guitars.

Really I’d say we should just add more current bands to the old Rock-O-Meter... “Do your parents know you are Ramones?”
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Old 02.26.2021, 09:53 PM   #19
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Eliminator Jr. inhuman, white cross, live versions of “kill yr idols”, burning spear. The SYR record with merzbow...
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Old 02.27.2021, 05:18 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matmosphere
Like the idea of a Mohs hardness scale, not a fan of the execution (and Ohm’s scale of rock would be better). There are more ways for music to be heavy than just distorted guitars.
I think reason it's called a scale of Rock and Metal Hardness is both a play on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness and both terms can refer to solid materials as well as music, and that rock and metal are more likely to be described as "hard" or "heavy" than other forms of music.

Like I said above, some of the higher level examples don't have guitars at all. I think when the page was first created the examples were just rock and metal bands (most of the links are to YouTube videos that are 10 years old or more, and some have even been removed), but it has come to mean a scale of how "listenable" an artist or group's music is for the average person.
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