Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Harvey Danger, "Radio Silence"

I chose this song today because of the effective crecendo it has throughout the song from no sound to a pure wall of sound, which is really needed because the song consists of one really long repeating verse and then a chorus at the end. There's also a couple of neat dramatic effects.

The song starts out with the "fooling around" warm up period that is really soft before the main guitar melody, which is just a repetitive chord structure in eighth notes with a little syncopation by holding over beat 3. The first sign of the crecendo is when the drums and bass are added. The guitar part has the same basic rhythm but just doing single notes and the bass also does the eighth notes but with strong emphasis on the downbeats and the pick up to the downbeat. The drums just have a soft bass drum on one and three and soft snare drum on two and four. Each one of these changes in instrumentation also has a very slight rise in dynamic. The vocalist throughout this increases not just the volume of his voice but also the agitation of it, which helps to increase tension.

The next change has the hi hat doing eighth which adds to the driving force, and then the bass drum becomes prominent and starts doing eighth notes on beats one and three. There's also a nice lyrical effect where the singer brings out the word "shock" and repeats three times on the offbeat, giving the word some reality in the music. The next change has the guitar returning to the full chords like in the beginning. The drum solos between each of these changes becomes more complicated. After a measure of just guitar echo, the guitar "solo" begins, though it is little more than an introduction of a new voice. This guitar just basically strays a bit from the original motive and a new guitar voice doing steady chord emphasis on eighth notes is added.

The next big change has the new guitar voice going from more stacatto close interval chord, this voice switches to doing full chords in eighth notes that provides our first constant sound throughout each measure, though it still isn't at a burn the speakers loud level. The final marking point and the full satisfaction is having the bass go down from a dominant chord to a register it has not been. The song continues with this wall of sound for the chorus. It is quite repetitive but there is a nice little (and I mean little) counterpoint between the main melody voice and a softer background voice with the main voice on the word "radio" doing three descending scalar notes and a big jump, while the background voice continuing the scalar note down. The main singer eventually does the downward motion like the lower voice. The end has a big final chord with a bunch of weird decreasing guitar effects.

1 comment:

dashdancedan said...

Wow, you really know your stuff. This one of my favorite all-time songs...The line "Just enough knowledge to know I don't know/Anything Anything Anything..." always gets stuck in my head.