Colton Vibe – Songs of the Week – Aug. 23

Spirit Week has CHS students wearing favorite band shirts, many of which reflect a retro taste of 80s-90s-00s indie alt-rock. Myles gives you six tracks you’ll want to rock out to


J. Dollins

Spirit Week found CHS students wearing their favorite music artist shirts. A bunch of kids are bringing back the likes of classic bands like Nirvana and Sublime.

The recent rise in popularity of the indie/alternative genre with the younger generation suggests that a new retro trend is upon us. Here at CHS, as we celebrate “Favorite Band T-Shirt Day” as part of Spirit Week, you are just as likely to come across a kid wearing a Nirvana, Sublime, or Pearl Jam t-shirt as you are to catch someone wearing Bad Bunny, Kanye or Kendrick threads.

So, in honor of this re-emerging trend, and as a love letter to the Gen-Xers in our community that hold Smith’s lyrics as sadboi gospel, here are some classic indie rock songs to soundtrack your week.


“This Charming Man” – The Smiths

It’s hard to believe that a band as influential and important as the Smiths only existed for five years. But, from 1982-1987, Morrissey (lead vocals), Johnny Marr (guitar), Andy Rourke (bass), and Mike Joyce (drums) put together a catalog that defined the indie sound for a decade and gave Millennial emo kids a vocabulary. “This Charming Man,” from The Smiths self-titled 1984 album is a poppy affair that gives ample space for Morrissey’s mournful crooning. It’s a culture clash story about a poor kid who becomes rather insecure about his poverty when he finds himself falling in love with a “charming man.” Indie kids seeing themselves as alt-outsiders rejoice at this anthem.


“Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)” – Deftones

Sacramento natives Deftones were a monolith in the late 90s nu-metal scene. Their second album “Around the Fur” got them tons of airplay on alt-radio and MTV, led by the strength of “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away),” a droning, feedback-drenched rocker that draws inspiration from Depeche Mode’s “Never Let Me Down Again.” Lead singer Chino Moreno’s voice sounds like he’s going through therapy with every note. Contrast that with the combat attack of the music itself.


“Wave of Mutilation” – Pixies

You can’t overstate the impact of the Pixies, Frank Black’s indie rock outfit that changed rock music forever. Kurt Cobain namechecked them. Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, the Smashing Pumpkins, and even Radiohead consider this Bostonian band a major influence on their work. And once you get past the overplayed anthem “Where is My Mind?” (think “Fight Club,” “Mr. Robot,” and the “Uncharted 4” trailer), the Pixies catalog is packed with stone cold punk-inflected indie gems. Look no further than “Wave of Mutilation,” the third song on “Doolittle,” their 1989 opus. What began as a song inspired by a story of a Japanese businessman committing suicide by driving his car off a cliff into the ocean has become an anthem for fighting against death itself.


“Paranoid Android” – Radiohead

Everyone loves Radiohead. Even those who don’t like Radiohead love Radiohead. They are our go-to when we sleep, haunting our innermost thoughts with deep existential questions about our place in the world and why we never fit in with this technological age. To listen to them is to question ourselves before we implode. Are we even human? “Paranoid Android” may be the greatest distillation of Radiohead’s themes and musical grandeur. In six-and-a-half short minutes, they take us on a “Bohemian Rhapsody”-esque journey through a society consumed by violence, sloganeering, and insanity. “Kicking, squealing Gucci little piggy” indeed.


“R U Mine” – Arctic Monkeys

The Arctic Monkeys hit the music scene with a back alley pub punch in the early aughts with their debut album “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not” and the hit single “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor.” After their second album, “Favourite Worst Nightmare,” they went into a lull, producing mid-tempo numbers that lost a lot of their mojo. With “R U Mine,” from their 2012 album “A.M.,” they started punching again. Alex Turner’s punk voice, with its distinct British accent, rediscovers its power and dominates the song. That the band crunches the guitars like a hit below the belt makes it all the more potent.


“Rid of Me” – PJ Harvey

Every band on this list is a pretty big band in the history of indie rock. You can’t talk about the history of the genre without touching upon The Smiths or Radiohead. And that history, for the most part, is a real sausage fest. But there are exceptions, and one of the biggest is English singer-songwriter Polly Jean Harvey, whose 1993 album “Rid of Me” with its dark and haunting title track perfected the quiet-loud dynamic of early 90s alt-rock, and went on to inspire Courtney Love to write her own magnum opus, Hole’s “Live Through This.”