The Vulture’s Ten Best Song to Kick Arse to
Thanks to iPods, iPhones and – if you’re kicking it old school – walkmans, our daily lives are now soundtracked. Which is great, because some days you just need to strut all over the place, and background music helps. ‘Eye of the Tiger’ is an embarrassing choice, and something you should not share with people. We’ve put together a mixtape so you can kick arse while you walk to the pub, flip people off as you return your library books, and sock your deadlines in the schlong. May the force be with you.
1. Killing In The Name Of – Rage Against the Machine
This is actually militant. Raw, aggressive guitar, ruthless drums, and the timeless one-finger salute of Zack de la Rocha’s “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me”. (That’s the bit when you wind down your car windows and scream at toddlers.) Bonus points for being politically angsty. Good grief, it’s enough to make you want to start a revolution. WHO’S WITH US?
2. Rebel Rebel – David Bowie
Bowie is a deity. We are right to give our thanks and praise for this 1974 anthem to sex, glam trash and “hot tramp[s]” that put Ziggy Stardust to bed. He came over all Keef Richards with that unmistakable riff, and made it his own with some gender-bending lyrics. If this song (and his jumpsuit) doesn’t fill you with nads-out courage, nothing will.
3. Ain’t Nuthin’ Ta Fuck Wit – Wu Tang Clan
Would you fuck with the Clan? Would you?
4. The Minotaur – The Drones
Ironically, this is mostly a song about idleness. But with a bassline that goes straight to your groin and lyrics more vitriolic than an Andrew Bolt column, ‘The Minotaur’ is anything but lethargic. Climaxes with Gareth Liddiard screaming “VEDI! VIDI! VICI!” like a man possessed.
5. Heart Attack & Vine – Tom Waits
Look, there are different kinds of arse-kicking. This is a track for when arse-kicking comes in the form of skulking around with a misanthropic glare and pervasive sense of superiority. Nothing says badass quite like Mr. Waits’ gravelly, whiskey-drenched croak, and when he says “let’s do another line”, the natural response is “Okay, homie.” ‘Heart Attack & Vine’ might not inspire you to go out and punch an accountant, but it will inspire you to swagger like heck.
6. The Wild One – Suzi Quatro
An inspiration to Joan Jett is an inspiration to us all! Back when rock was a man’s, man’s world, Suzi Q showed that she could jam out with her clam out. ‘The Wild One’ is rambunctious, raspy and a bangin’ good track. The perpetually leather-clad, bass guitar-wielding goddess was was punk before The Sex Pistols existed. Also, she once broke Alice Cooper’s nose. Couldn’t stop kicking arse if she tried.
7. Kick Out The Jams– MC5
Anything that starts with Rob Tyner yelling “KICK OUT THE JAMS, MOTHERFUCKE-E-E-R-R-R!” is okay by us. It’s a blitzkrieg of garage, punk and glam rock, and all of those things are good!
8. Kick It – Peaches feat. Iggy Pop
You can’t escape this seething, silly electro-punk. You could be standing at the bus stop or waiting at the coin laundrette. It doesn’t matter, because when Peaches implores you to kick it, it’s hard to disobey. Plus, the music video features a shirtless Iggy and a pantless Peaches fighting off a zombie attack and high-fiving.
9. Gold On The Ceiling – The Black Keys
The Ohioan gents can always be relied upon to come up with the goods, and their 2011 release El Camino was no exception. ‘Gold On The Ceiling’ is the duo at their bluesy best. A little bit cowboy, a little bit gospel and a whole lotta grotty fun, it hits the spot when you’re having a Steve McQueen moment, driving down an open road and not giving a fuck.
10. Gloria – Patti Smith
This is “epic” in the true sense of the word – it opens with Smith sneering “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine”, and it doesn’t stop kicking arse until the final fadeout. Snarling guitar, beat poetry and mean, lusty vocals took Van Morrison’s original and tore it a new one. Tits yeah.