Looking at the song titles in this week’s Top 10 Songs, you’d think we might be in a pretty foul mood. “Revenge”, “Destroyer”, “Piss”, “Bite”, and “Unrequited” all make appearances. But, the reality is quite the opposite: We’re thrilled by this bunch of powerful tunes that range the emotional spectrum. Check out Horse Head’s doom metal or Travi$ Scott and Kanye West’s urine-fest, and you’ll get some of that anger. Conner Youngblood and Oneohtrix Point Never, meanwhile, are a bit more contemplative, though still plenty engaging.
10. Modern Baseball – “Revenge of the Nameless Ranger”
Considering their name, I hoped Modern Baseball’s “Revenge of the Nameless Ranger” would be about a lesser known member of the Texas Rangers — outfielder Drew Stubbs, perhaps — doing something heroic to help his team beat a team that released him in the past. Instead, the New England emo quartet delve into a broken relationship, jumping from memories of parking lot make-outs to the empty drawers where someone’s clothes used to be. “The quarrels with myself are turning into feuds/ Investigate your tone of voice for subtle clues,” Brendan Lukens begins, eventually twisting into a sort of resignation: “You don’t want to change me/ And I don’t want to change you.” This is one of those that’ll be a fun listen for those currently happy, and a powerfully cathartic one for those going through a rough patch, the sort of duality that Modern Baseball thrives on. –Adam Kivel
09. MeLo-X feat. Little Simz – “FFFS”
A bold multimedia artist, New York’s MeLo-X approaches his instrumentals with a painter’s foresight. The complimentary broken melodies within “FFFS” serve as the shooting stars against a celestial backdrop. Unlike the randomness of reality, MeLo-X dictates every shift and vocal manipulation. Controlled at the source, the perceived chaos is a result of his process. The alluring angst of Little Simz further calming this dramatic free fall from space. Expect this track to finally touch down in the upcoming weeks on MeLo-X’s Curate EP. –Derek Staples
08. Travi$ Scott feat. Kanye West – “Piss on Your Grave”
God forgives, Travi$ Scott and Kanye West don’t. On “Piss on Your Grave”, the pair fantasize about directing hateful golden streams at exploitative record execs both during their greedy lives and postmortem. It’s only right that it’s one of the most direct songs on Scott’s brand-new Rodeo, though it doesn’t get there immediately. It begins with a stormy psych blues groove comparable to Jimi Hendrix’s “Machine Gun”, then explodes outward in San Andreas proportions. West steps to the mic first, barking almost like Waka Flocka as he outlines that corporate exploitation. Then, Scott, a Houston native who’s one of the most progressive newcomers in Southern hip-hop (despite accusations that he’s a style biter who can’t rap), combats doubters more generally: “Look at little Scotty now/ The same fuckers used to doubt/ All preaching that they proud/ I pull my zipper down and whip it out.” When you gotta go, you gotta go. –Michael Madden