“Stand tall I’m, young and kinda proud”, sang Rob Halford on Judas Priest’s 1982 track ‘You’ve Got Another Thing Coming’. “I’m on top – as long as the music’s loud”.
He knew a thing about being loud, did Halford. But when it comes to genuine noise – the kind of bludgeoning, body-engulfing cacophony that makes you evacuate your brain through your ears – the leather-clad baldie still hovers around the ‘kitten-fart’ order of magnitude.
He could never match, for example, the spewing volcano of distortion that characterises the live ‘holocaust section’ of My Bloody Valentine’s ‘You Made Me Realise’ – a debilitating sonic onslaught that requires earplugs to be handed out on the door, and has been known to induce powerful auditory hallucinations.
Still, bleeding ears might seem a blessing after a night at a Sunn O))) gig. The American drone-rockers target a different part of the body. They’re proud of the ‘bowel-loosening’ quality of their music, claiming to know the exact bass frequency that can make an audience shit themselves as one. A neat trick, which would presumably give fresh meaning to the term ‘toilet venue’ if they ever pulled it off.
By way of tribute to these Grand Poobahs of noise pollution, we’ve put together a list of the 20 loudest tracks of all time. What do you think?
AC/DC, ‘Back In Black’
Butthole Surfers, ’22 going on 23′
Universal Indicator, ‘Untitled’
Big Black, ‘Kerosene’
The Jesus and Mary Chain, ‘Inside Me’
Atari Teenage Riot, ‘Fuck All!’
My Bloody Valentine, ‘You Made Me Realise’
Sunn O))), ‘ Orakulum
Melt-Banana, ‘Lost Parts Stinging Me So Cold’
Lightning Bolt, ‘Assassins’
A Place To Bury Strangers, ‘To Fix The Gash In Your Head’
Black Sabbath, ‘Iron Man’
Oasis, ‘My Big Mouth’
Suicide, ’23 Minutes Over Brussels’
Throbbing Gristle, ‘Discipline’
Mastodon, ‘Blood And Thunder’
The Dillinger Escape Plan, ‘Abe The Cop’
Player, ‘Angel Of Theft’
Oneida, ‘The Human Factor’