Everyone Notices That Thing You Do That You Don’t Realize You Do
We all have our idiosyncrasies.
I sometimes blink one eye unintentionally. To my wife’s chagrin, I pronounce the word “aunt” exactly how it’s spelled. I probably say I’m going to kill myself too much and actually kill myself too little. I know and deeply hate a man that grunts aloud like he’s losing a heated, high-stakes tennis match whenever he takes a seat on the couch. Some people have awarded themselves their very own catch phrase and should be killed.
Point is, whether intentional or unintentional, charming, annoying, or inconsequential, we all routinely do our own definitive little “things”. In a surprising and unprecedentedly groundbreaking discovery, I’ve found that it this rule extends to music. Peculiar quirks can be found within any level of specificity; individual members (Jonas Renkse really, really, really, really, really, really, really likes the word “freedom”), bands (Bathory was big into horse-hooven sound clips, Steel Panther is big into being cringingly unfunny), or entire genres (power metal uses the term “wings of steel” way too much, and Joe pointed out that hip-hop artists have this weird thing for onomatopoeic gun sounds).
Some of you may be aware of similar videos that attempt to compile every instance of a particular artist’s / band’s musical habit. I find this context hilarious and amusing.
Exhibit A: The most obvious and well-known of the lot. It’s pretty much sound science that, at this point, Jame’s Hetfield is little more than a vehicle for the legions of yeahs that have chosen his body as a host. Seeking a high-profile vessel to spread their gospel with his voice, it’s obvious enough why they chose Hetfield. Do you think it’s a coincidence that The Black Album was accompanied by such a steep incline in yeah frequency? Fucking think again, pal.
Exhibit B: Along the same lines but infinitely worse, some brave soul has taken it upon themselves to compile every instance of Rob Zombie trying to force out a hot, stubborn shit ever put to recording. God help us.
Exhibit C: Tom G. Warrior has mastered the art of giving riffs plenty of umph – sometimes quite literally. His “death grunt” transitions became not just a staple of Celtic Frost, but of extreme metal as a whole. The Tom G. Warrior Death Grunt Appreciation Society isn’t actually a thing, but it damn well should be. In fact, I’m starting it myself. Press play and bask in the glory of the ugh!, the hoo!, the aah!, the heyy!, the oof!, and the occasional ow!
Exhibit D: This was surprisingly absurd even for a Running Wild fan completely aware of Rolf Kaspaek’s devotion to his favorite lick. I knew Rolf really liked this lick, but fuck dude… Rolf really, really likes this lick. This one begs the question – does this represent the expression of a willful “signature” or a reliance on the phrase due to a lack of creativity? I’ll share the secret to answering questions like this. If I like the band, it’s artistic flair. If I don’t, it’s creative dearth. Bada bing, bada boom.
At any rate, does it matter? It’s an effectively kickass lick. If you get your ass whooped in Street Fighter by a guy using nothing but Hadouken, what does it matter if they did it for strategy’s sake or because it’s the only button command they know? The result is the same – you lose, dude. This lick is Rolf’s Hadouken. It makes great solos either way.
Anyhow, the purpose of this post is two-fold: 1) I want to know if you’ve noticed any of these idiosyncrasies in your favorite music. 2) I want you all to make thousands more of these videos. Get to it, my friends.