We discovered countless amazing bands and tracks thanks to THPS, so here are 10 of our favourite anthems from the games that still sound nice on our earholes today:
Cool story alert: I saw Slayer at the Hordern Pavilion when I was 16 and it was absolutely fucking terrifying. There were circle pits filled with sketchy looking dudes in leather vests, and enough ear-splitting solos to melt every face in the vicinity. Nothing goes harder than the breakdown in ‘Angel Of Death’, the 1986 classic which may still be one of the heaviest tracks ever recorded. For more Slayer appreciation, watch our interview with Dave Leaupepe of Gang of Youths.
If the government ever decides to change the Australian national anthem, we are petitioning for ‘Not the Same’ by Bodyjar to be sung before every important footy match and at schools across the country. This pop-punk classic evokes memories of wallet chains, three-quarter shorts and flexifit caps – happier days when all we cared about was landing a kickflip on a Tech Deck at the back of science class.
The inclusion of this song on THPS has been the subject of much controversy, and marks another chapter in the feud between Dead Kennedys and former frontman Jello Biafra. Still, this track served as one of our first introductions to the hardcore punk pioneers, and appeared on their album Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death alongside another one of our favourite DK anthems, ‘Pull My Strings‘.
As tempting as it is to blast Kid Rock and Limp Bizkit whenever someone mentions the term ‘rap-rock’, we’ve got to pay respect to the OGs – and this Anthrax collaboration with Public Enemy still stands as one of the best cross-genre, pit-inducing bangers. ‘Bring The Noise’ sees the revolutionary Chuck D spit over heavy riffs from one of thrash metal’s Big Four, and also features Flavor Flav delivering ad-libs while wearing a giant clock.
AFI delivered snarling, speedy punk rock at its best with ‘The Boy Who Destroyed The World’ – and while the band found mainstream success later with their goth-tinged album Sing the Sorrow, their early material is equally as engaging. For another awesome AFI-based video, watch Davey Havok and Ceremony cover ‘Straight Edge Revenge‘ live, which might be the inspiration you need to put your next beer down.
DJ Premier has made more amazing beats than we’ve had hot dinners, and alongside Guru (R.I.P) he formed one of hip-hop’s most memorable duos in Gang Starr. From Guru’s composed delivery to Premo’s pensive production, ‘Mass Appeal’ is simply too tough, and stands as an East Coast classic that encapsulates the sound of the Golden Era with mesmerising force.
Before their most admirably ambitious album London Calling, The Clash already established themselves as one of the UK’s primary punk bands with their raw self-titled debut – including ‘White Riot’ and its irresistibly catchy chorus. Listen to this track while wearing red plaid pants and maybe put gel in your mohawk. R.I.P. Joe Strummer.
While It Was Written will always be our favourite Nas album, the general consensus amongst rap fans names Illmatic as his most influential work – and this Pete Rock-produced slice of smoothness is one of the album’s highlights.
Another cool story alert: I discovered Rancid after my Year 8 English teacher gave me a copy of …And Out Come The Wolves aka the best album of all time. Shouts to Mr. Brown. Much later in their career, Rancid released ‘Fall Back Down’ after Tim Armstrong’s divorce from The Distillers‘ frontwoman Brody Dalle. This song is super catchy and features Kelly Osbourne and Good Charlotte in the cut.
Suicidal Tendencies – one of the best crossover bands in history, who also have one of the strongest merchandise games in history.