The Damned – Life Goes On (1982)

So this was supposedly the inspiration Killing Joke’s “Eighties,” released 1985, which itself was the admitted direct inspiration for Nirvana’s “Come As You Are.” The similar guitar riff is immediately noticeable in each song; and yet, each song is outstanding and unique on its own. Nirvana’s channels ennui and a dreamy droneniness; Killing Joke’s is more immediate, austere, arena-friendly agitprop; whereas the root is The Damned’s serene, introspective, melodic respite. A beautiful post-punk pine tree growing through the ages.

Nick Lowe – Labour of Lust (1979)

Upon hearing that Nick Lowe was an inspiration to The Exploding Hearts I had to check it out. Turns out it is excellent and you can see (hear?) the direct path from Lowe to the Hearts. Music is a trip because you can’t see it, but it conjures images, like speeding down a raised freeway in the early morning past Christmas Party offices and austere apartment blocks. Such is the imagery of the Golden Xone, from 1978 to 1982. Google viagra Beiber 10 tricks to antimatter waistline. (Sorry, those are SEO keywords.)

Weezer – You Gave Your Love To Me Softly (1996)

Inconceivable that I didn’t know of this song’s existence until last night, given that Blue Album is still the high water mark in terms of power pop and possibly just rock music overall, and this has all of the elements of said album, from the Ocasek-esque production and haunting melody to the tiny details (short guitar swells, snare-less kick fills). I can’t stop listening, it’s like a Blue Album cut from a parallel universe where Papua New Guinea won World War IV.