Endless Loop: Without MSG I am Nothing

mcluskyHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“Without MSG I am Nothing” by McLusky

“Everywhere I look is a darkness.”

Now and again, a riff comes along, grabs you by the back of the neck, and proceeds to slam your face against a wall…on repeat…all of the blood in your body flowing up to your head, cheeks and ears flushed, auditory hallucinations ensuing. It’s one of those little nuggets of sound that completely takes hold of you, caressing your ears, stinging your soul, whether it be guitar, or bass, or synthesizer, or whatever. It doesn’t matter what makes it. It doesn’t matter where it comes from. It doesn’t even matter if it’s particularly innovative or anything. It just sticks. And it sticks hard. I guess what I’m saying here is that some riffs just kick ass.

It really is that simple.

And so we have the brief but fantastic bombast and wail of Welsh band McLusky’s “Without MSG I am Nothing” from their 2004 album The Difference Between Me and You Is that I’m Not on Fire. Aside from having a penchant for excellently titling things, the band also banged it out harder and faster than most of their contemporaries, spitting acidic vitriol and post-hardcore grime all over the floors and walls of any and every seedy punk rock venue you’ve ever dreamed about.

“Without MSG I am Nothing” is a sarcastic, critical, anti-everything kind of statement, but purposefully obtuse in its lyrical content, something the band practiced with a fair amount of regularity in their songs. It’s unhinged, unnerving, unapologetic, and feels like a sucker punch to the gut of pop music. It was everything a young twenty-something in a post-collegiate, post-9/11 world needed to hear at the time. It was the kind of song that made me want to make my band at the time better than it could ever actually become. It’s still the kind of song that makes me want to make music, makes me want shriek and shake on stage, makes me want to spit in the eye of everybody in front of me. And it all starts with that ass-kicking riff.


Thomas H Williams

Thomas H Williams

From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit heavenisanincubator.blogspot.com.

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