Think Tank: Bad Mood Therapy

Every single one of us has to endure a stretch of days where, for one reason or another, things just do not go right. Some people handle it better than others. My own personal method is to medicate with music daily and add in a few beers for flavor on the weekend. For those of you in a rotten mood who need a little something to calm you down, I recommend you embrace those negative feels and counter them with negative music. Here are my go-to’s for when I find my self in a bad place mentally. It helps by making it worse.

Architect – “Broke Dick Dog”

Not to be confused with the UK band Architects, Architect was/may still be a sludgy hardcore band from NY, and the only two albums they released are capable of firing you up so much that you’ll have enough rage to put your fist through a brick wall. Busting through the sheet rock is for mortals; this is the stuff here that will make you superhuman. My favorite track from their debut, All Is Not Lost, “Broke Dick Dog” is blatantly heavy for all the right reasons. The vocals repeatedly use the phrase “You are not going to make it,” and that phrase reaches its climax at the end of track when they build it all up for one last go around into a flurry of feedback and crushing devastation. Thanks for reminding me that I’m not going to make it Architect. I knew that already, but reassurances are always welcome.

Cursed – “Friends In The Music Business”

When I want to smash my head into the computer monitor repeatedly, I counter that by putting on some Cursed. This a group that I didn’t truly embrace until after they disbanded. They were a band that is not only great musically, but lyrically as well. When music and lyrics team up together, it can easily elevate a song to a higher level of enjoyment. Cursed has a knack for providing sharply worded sociopolitical commentary on whatever subject they chose to tackle in their songs. “Friends In The Music Business” always cheers me up with its harsh sludginess and pointed words about what its like to be the music industry’s bitch. Cursed typically play a style of hardcore punk n’ roll with a strong Motorhead influence, but this song is a bit out of character for them musically, as it belongs in any conversation where the subject is “the heaviest song you ever heard.” This is one of the first things I put on when I’m feeling all kinds of rotten.

Early Graves – Goner

This is an album that speaks to me. I’m particularly fond of this album because of the way it was intentionally recorded. At the time of its release in 2010, going for the more pristine style of production was the in thing. Early Graves had no desire to follow the trends, so they did exactly the opposite of industry standards. Goner was recorded using a reel to reel recording in an effort to sound as filthy as possible. The result is a beyond pissed rager that devours anything and everything in its path, the definition of being consumed. It’s dirty, crusty, filth-ridden stylings are a comfort to me because I know all is not well in my current mental state, and getting confirmation of that fact is peace of mind for me. Points of interest include the title track and opener “Goner,” “May Day,” “Bastard Tears” and my personal favorite, “Give Up.” The aggression that this album exudes is aided by the aforementioned intentionally cruddy recording, the unmistakeable energy in the musical performances and lastly the vocals of the late Makh Daniels, the final element that puts this album on another level for me.

Gaza – I Don’t Care Where I Go When I Die

There is nothing in the world that is more oppressive, hate-filled and hopeless than this record. Time will tell if Cult Leader surpasses this as their career progresses, but for now, IDCWIGWID is hands down the ugliest album out there. There is nothing but dread throughout its entire runtime. It sounds awful, it feels awful and that brings me great joy. Gaza drags me down deep into the depths of all things vile, despicable and morbid. It haunts you without the use of subtle moments of calm and gets in your face with its lethal concoction of grind, sludge and doom; all served on a platter of chaotic hardcore. I must admit that I did not like this album at first, and it’s the true definition of a grower. There’s plenty to lure you in upon first listen, but it’s only when you go back for more that this one starts to get its hooks into you. Tracks to impale yourself on: “Calf,” “Sire,” “Hospital Fat Bags,” “Gristle,” “Pork Finder,” or maybe just the whole god damn thing. If I’m still not fulfilled, then I’ll bump He Is Never Coming Back and No Absolutes In Human Suffering because they hit the spot as well.

What is your coping mechanism when the shit goes down and you’re in a foul mood? Do you counter your feelings with equally aggressive music or do you resort to Dancing On The Ceiling  like Lionel Richie? Share your pain and/or joy in the comments below.

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Published on: June 28, 2016

Filled Under: Washington Think Tank

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  • Janitor Jim Duggan

    My answer is The Crimson Idol by WASP. The album has saved my life and it always makes me feel better.

    • Eliza

      I really like that album too. WASP’s best, in my opinion.

  • Depends on what kind of mood, but this song is potent for the majority of foul moods for me. I mean, how can you be in a bad mood while listening to the greatest speed metal track ever written?

    • Jesus christ this is 7 goddamn minutes long.

      • Eliza

        7 minutes of pure awesomeness.

      • 7 minutes of white hot fucking steel

      • “i know right… it’s WAY too short”

      • Grandpa’s Magic Fleshlight

        You’d poop your pantaloons listening to Moonsorrow then!

  • I like to go for stuff that helps perpetuate my bad mood. For example:

  • Yes! Music is medicine. As someone who has been sick for nearly a month now I heavily depend on music to lift my spirits. The more negative, ugly, and heavy the music is… The better.

    • This would certainly do it, gets a little too slow for me at times but I get what these guys do. They slowly,methodically drain the life out of you.

    • more beer

      That certainly fits the criteria.

    • MachoMadness5000

      Can I be honest up in this bitch? This is my first time listening to Primitive Man – DIG IT!!

  • CyberneticOrganism

    Good choices, Deuce. This certainly always helps me.

    • My favorite album by these guys. Saw them last month and they played alot of songs from this one that night. A fine evening of entertainment that was.

      • CyberneticOrganism

        Still gotta see them live sometime, looks like a blast

        • Their singer said he might have a concussion or something when they played. You wouldn’t know it because he was screaming his head off the entire time and it sounded intense.

    • Always loved that artwork. So dismal, something I wouldn’t expect to see used for this style.

    • Dubbbz

      Temple of the Morning Star is one of the suggested videos that pops up after this embed. That is certainly an album i visit when I’m in a black mood.

  • Dubbbz

    I think it depends what kind of bad mood I’m in. If it’s anger, I’m probably not listening to much music one way or another. If it’s sadness, I suppose I’m drawn to more mournful pieces, like this.

  • Yesterday I was stuck in a guard shack with a fuckin hornet for 8 hours. I have a severe allergy to those fucks. My nerves were completely frayed by the end of the night. This is what I listened to on the way home:

  • Abradolf Lincler

    im all about them feels, and life is one endless pointless drudgery until we all go back to the mud. it dont matter, none a this matters.

    • That Belketre side >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

      Both sides are perfection though.

      • Abradolf Lincler

        I definitely prefer the Belketre side

        • A lot of people I discuss this album with tend to lean more towards that side it seems.

          • Abradolf Lincler

            It’s so intense. I wish their stuff was more readily available

  • Pentagram Sam

    Never got when people were pissed or even “sad” why they’d play sadder or slow songs. Not saying it’s “wrong” to do that, but for me personally it doesn’t help. Maybe it works by reveling in it to immerse yourself to come out of it? Or something.

    I’ll generally go for fast and aggressive thrash, or melodic and speedy but not over the top happy. Like maybe Keeper of the Seven Keys but def no Freedom Call.

    Testament’s “The Gathering” is a great album and lot’s o Sodom too.

    Hell, today I was a wee bit pissed in the morning but Reckless Love and songs about drinking and partying got me outta the funk rather quickly.

    • Dubbbz

      I think it’s both a catharsis for some people and a good reminder that you aren’t actually alone.


      THE GATHERING>>>>>>>>

      • Dubbbz

        I love this album.

        • GORAK IN CAVES™


          • Dubbbz

            I honestly think it’s better than those.

          • GORAK IN CAVES™


          • Stanley

            No way. Testament is Skolnick and Peterson. There are some good tunes on The Gathering, but it’s sadly missing Skolnick. His solos are some of the best out there and his leads add so much to Testaments overall sound.

          • Dubbbz

            I love Skolnick too!

          • Stanley


          • Dubbbz

            Really, I like all of Testament’s albums, even the non-Skolnick ones after Gathering, though I don’t return to them as often.

          • Stanley

            The last two (since he rejoined) have been a bit hit and miss for me. Both have a few good tunes on them, but there’s also a lot of filler and songs that skip over.

          • Dubbbz

            I’ll agree regarding the filler, but I absolutely love the last four tracks or so on Formation of Damnation.

          • GORAK IN CAVES™
          • more beer

            1 Up is a pretty cool bar here. With all vintage video games and serves 40’s.

          • GORAK IN CAVES™


          • more beer

            Yes in Denver. 1 Up is more of a dive than a lot of places I go. But it is across the street from the Summit Music Hall where I go to a lot of shows.

          • GORAK IN CAVES™


          • more beer

            That’s about 2 hours away.

          • Grandpa’s Magic Fleshlight

            Bars that serve 40s >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

            Keep all that fancy tap shit and fruity microbrews away from me, and bring me a 40 of Old English instead!

          • more beer

            I don’t know what you are talking about fruity micro brews? Nothing I drink tastes fruity.

          • Grandpa’s Magic Fleshlight

            Wasn’t talking about you, I was talking about all that fancy pants beer in general.

          • more beer

            There is good beer and bad beer. You prefer bad beer.

          • Grandpa’s Magic Fleshlight

            Well, I did go fancy last week and drank a Rolling Rock.

          • more beer

            Gah! Better than PBR but still shit.

          • Grandpa’s Magic Fleshlight

            Almost forgot, picked this up. The power of Billy Dee Williams compels me to drink this Flint drain pipe water.


          • more beer


          • Grandpa’s Magic Fleshlight

            Yup, it sucks, but I got apple cider in the meantime, and it’s a sorta collector’s item I’ve been wanting.

          • more beer

            That I understand. I have a rather extensive beer bottle collection.

          • Grandpa’s Magic Fleshlight

            Mine’s just the final can of Big Flats that was being sold at Walgreen’s, and this one.

      • This goes hard!

        • GORAK IN CAVES™


          • So glad I was able to catch him play with Slayer twice. That man has the best live kick drum sound ever! So fucking heavy.

          • Dubbbz

            Pretty sure he was still in Slayer when I saw them. I think Holt was filling in, but I don’t think Hanneman had passed yet.

          • Same. I saw them with Holt the second time at Yankee Stadium. The first time was the original line-up though.

          • GORAK IN CAVES™


    • The Tetrachord of Archytas

      personally, I think the entirety of the human experience is valid, but our society is so bent on medicating. I think there is stigma to negative feelings that causes more people to either hide them or get falsely diagnosed; not to take away from legitimate clinical depression or anything because I’m not equipped to say anything about that, but experiencing sorrow is a major part of being human, and going through it and accepting it leads to deeper joys. I think for the average person they either keep bottling it up which can lead to out bursts, or, even worse, they create a tumblr account.

      reminds me of this

    • Melancholic music makes me feel like I’m at home <3

    • Mother Shabubu

      I always “revel” in whatever negative emotions are thrown my way. For two reasons: one, I feel like I have lived a privileged life thus far, so I see it as taking my lashes to balance the scales a bit to remind me others have it way worse. And two, because I feel like pushing yourself into a negative head space takes you out of your comfort zone and demolishes any complacencies you have. Basically, through despising yourself, or whatever quality about yourself has lead you to this point, you seek ways to improve yourself to not be that or not be there again.

      I feel like the music acts as both a guide helping you through uncharted waters, and as a vessel catharsis, so you can emote vicariously while listening to it.

      • yup, hitting rock bottom has positive effects in the long run… but good luck telling a person that in the thick of things.

    • i’m so with you, Pentagram Sam. when i’m feeling down, i WANT to be picked back up! … but not everyone is like that. it’s all a testament to one’s desire to be happy or sad. changing from sad to happy requires a lot of work/energy to be applied to the system, which to a sad person seems like an impossible task. it’s not ’til we’ve seen a few victories that we understand how possible it really IS to improve our own respective moods.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa


    • Grandpa’s Magic Fleshlight
  • Eliza

    When I’m sad, I don’t listen to upbeat songs, cus that generally makes me feel worse, but so would do a song that is too depressing. As such, I need something that is somewhat sad, but also at least a little bit catchy, so I usually play this album:

    • Dubbbz

      Don’t tell anyone, but… I really like The Package. It gives me feels.

      • ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

      • Eliza

        Why? It’s a great song.

      • Abradolf Lincler

        but does it give you the feels in your package

  • When I need a dose of aggression, raw energy: d-beat, old school death metal and speed infused metal.

    When I need upbeat and empowering moments: traditional metal, power metal and melodic death metal.

    When I need calm and serenity: highly melancholic metal and neofolk.

    When I need to challenge myself: prog metal and different folk or jazz influenced music.

    When I want to escape: music that is very inspired by fantasy or something that evokes places or stories.

    When I have bad times: any of these choices.

    When I have good times: any of these choices.

  • Megan Alexandra

    This round of depression is going on a solid year. Dependable jams are leaning towards the predictably emotional but IMO your mood -busters should make you feel something rather than nothing. Eyehategod-S/T, Discharge-HNSNSN, At The Gates-SotS, Dismember-Like an Ever Flowing Stream. Strong vocals, melodic riffs, palpable rage… all these albums are like a soft blanket of comfort without pushing me too far over the edge. Feelings!

  • Brock Samson

    The new Torii album has become of those that I spin when I feel down. I think it has the perfect blend of crushing sludge, sad yet thought provoking lyrics, and droney acoustic passages that make your soul feel all the hopelessness in this world.

    [bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=328224366 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]

    • Dubbbz

      Good answer 😉

  • I generally go work out when I get mad af. This one goes will with all that stuff.

  • brokensnow

    This man understood depression. The humor made the songs sting more and somehow more serious.

  • Hubert

    Somber and minimalist folk tunes often help me, I actually tend to go to really aggressive stuff when things are starting to look up again.

    • Grandpa’s Magic Fleshlight

      Damn, that just adds to the grimness of a bad mood! It’s been a while, but during my long, really sad period last year, I blasted a lot of Sparklehorse, which definitely adds to the melancholy mood.

  • War Metal is one of my favorites to work out too. Get’s my blood boiling.

    • Abradolf Lincler

      always upvote Diocletian. if i ever had a son, i would name him Diocletian (Diocles) or Augustus

      • You see that Black Witchery “Upheaval of Satanic Might” LP is repressed?

        • Abradolf Lincler

          I believe I did see that

          • I believe HHB has it in stock. I’ve had that one for a couple of years now, I should check to see if it’s an original.

          • Abradolf Lincler

            They also just recently got in the drudkh/winterfylleth split, which I am going to grab on Friday if they still have copies. They sold out of the new split almost immediately

          • So it goes 🙁

  • The Tetrachord of Archytas

    For whatever reason, metal is not much of a specific go to for my bad moods. A lot of trees and shit black metal goes down well for me and a lot of really angry sludgy stuff works well, but funny enough, my developing interest in those styles came along with happier times so while they work when I have off days, they’re also really stimulating for me creatively. but if I were to think of specific things or music that has gotten me through the tough times it’d be these two albums which were in rotation non stop during a pretty heavy two year depression (plus John Luther Adams in the white silence, and coheed’s double album)

  • On the less heavy side of things, while still being emotionally heavy…

  • Nicki Minaj – Va Va Voom
    i’ll save you folks the bother of a video embed, but hot damn is it a great song with an even better video. pretty sure it could elevate my mood no matter how low i’m feeling.
    – the man who doesn’t give a fuuuuuuuuuuuuck 😉

  • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

    For sorrows and glooms, Wolves in the Throne Room or Striborg seem to be my go to’s. Bit like steering into a skid. For rare angers, albums like Scum, or Order and Punishment (!T.O.O.H.!) or Wonderland (Radiation 4) do the business.

  • Waynecro

    That Architect is awesome. Sounds like I have a new album for the gym! Thanks, dude!

    • If you dig the track I posted, definitely get down with both albums. Very agressive and angry stuff.

      • Waynecro

        I’ll definitely do that. Thanks for the heads-up!

  • The_Dude

    Whenever I’m in a shitty mood and need a pick me up this whole ep is usually a go to but especially this first song

    Whenever I’m down and depressed and fully want to embrace it this helps.

    And of course the generic answer for just completely wanting everyone and everything to fuck off.

    • Hans Müller

      Yeah, Mutoid Man! Those guys are bonkers. Absolutely rad stuff.

  • Señor Jefe El Rosa

    My go to, scream your lungs out mad at the world song.

  • Grandpa’s Magic Fleshlight

    I can honestly say I don’t get sad or angry much at all nowadays, but when I do, I tend to listen to some Angra, which has been my cheer up music for more than a decade.

  • Dave Vincent’s Perm

    Usually I go for the most weird, out-there stuff for situations like this. When real life pisses me off it helps to listen to music about alien empires swatting the human race like a fly.