Ben’s 10 Volume LXXI : Rock Album Narcotic Pairings

Heroin: Iggy Pop Kill City

The only true way to relate to where Iggy was in his life and career in 1977 is to listen to Kill City. Pop had just been released from a mental hospital for heroin addiction and didn’t do well with recovery. It was not uncommon for him to be found literally lying in the gutter along Hollywood’s Sunset Strip at this period of time, with no one caring enough to assist the junk-addled singer.


Methamphetamine: Korn Korn

In recent interviews with the California nu-metal band, all of the members of Korn admitted they recorded their debut high as fuck on methamphetamine. Of course they did. Unleashing uninspired crap metal like this could only be explained by substance abuse, and predictably the band indulged heavily on White Trash America’s favorite cheap high. I’m not saying you should ever do meth, but tweaker Korn fans around our great country are enamored with this album, and we now know why.


Soma: Kanye West The Life of Pablo

It’s challenging to be a fan of Kanye. He’s undisputedly an amazing producer, lyricist and songwriter. However, he’ll never be as important or relevant as he believes himself to be. His new record is amazing, sure, but hard to appreciate when West himself referred to it as “the best album of all time” weeks before its release. West will make you feel tense and uncomfortable. Enjoy The Life of Pablo, but only if you’ve taken soma.


Cocaine: Fleetwood Mac Rumours

While Rumours may seem the obvious pairing for cocaine, there has likely never been a record created in a greater storm of white powder than Fleetwood Mac’s pop masterpiece. Throughout the album, you can just imagine Lindsey Buckingham and company ingesting ridiculous amounts of cocaine while tinkering with every minute detail of the compositions. While Rumours is an astounding accomplishment and one of the biggest selling albums of all time, I would suggest snorting at least a couple of lines to better comprehend the recording.


Marijuana: Heron Oblivion Heron Oblivion

Heron Oblivion is a stunning debut statement from an impressive roster of Bay Area rock luminaries and feels and sounds like a band you’d hear at The Fillmore circa 1968. Musically, Heron Oblivion is most potent when they make the transcendent journey into long, chaotic improvisation that borders on the edge of chaotic noise but somehow beckons the listener along for the ride. The swirling psychedelic guitars and gorgeous, haunting melodies of vocalist Meg Baird are irresistible, especially after a joint.


Ketamine: Weezer Make Believe

I mean, have you listened to this steaming pile of horse shit? It’s only tolerable if you’re on a drug where you basically feel like you’re dead.


Valium: Battles La Di Da Di

Battles is a phenomenal math-rock band, with every new record forecasting the future of rock. It’s not music for the uninformed listener; time, tempo and key changes are frequent and the mostly instrumental group focuses on the frantic technicality of musicianship. Similar to the anxiety and nervousness experienced by watching Ben Stiller act, listening to Battles usually requires the consumption of Valium.


Mescaline: Metallica Reload

There is no way to enjoy Reload unless you’ve happened to consume some peyote cactus. The scuzzy dick-rock of late ‘90s-era Metallica is superb and full of exciting moments of inspired musical genius and progressive, innovative songwriting. But only if you’re on mescaline.


Prozac: Elliott Smith Either/Or

While arguably Smith’s finest recording and both a commercial and critical success for the troubled artist, it’s impossible to listen to Either/Or without wanting to take some form of anti-depressants. Smith painfully explores his vulnerabilities and weaknesses in an uncompromising, beautiful way.


Ecstasy: Cursive Domestica

Cursive’s primary songwriter Tim Kasher wrote this “fictional” account of a relationship’s dissolution which unfolds over Domestica’s nine tracks. Kasher was himself at the end of divorce proceedings while composing the material on Domestica, but chose to embellish the actual events, creating characters to tell a story of love, jealousy and betrayal. Especially if you’re dealing with relationship issues, it’s best to pair this emo masterpiece with some good quality ecstasy.

About Ben Allen

Our music editor Ben Allen was born one stormy evening in a quaint Northern California coastal village. Upon birth he was immediately exposed to the soothing analog sounds of artists such as Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, Paul Simon, Captain Beefheart and Santana. As the lad grew, so did his appreciation for an assortment of abrasive hard rock. A pubescent flirtation with butt metal was shattered in the early 1990’s by exposure to Nirvana and other so-called “Alternative” bands. While in college, our protagonist became a DJ on a local station, and began work as a freelance music journalist. During this period he became entranced with artists such as Tortoise, Slint, Modest Mouse, Guided By Voices and Pavement. Currently Allen resides in Arcata, CA where he continues to obsess and salivate over new recordings by his favorite artists. He works with music industry people to ensure that Savage Henry’s contributors receive music and other promotional materials. He also writes a silly monthly list titled “Ben’s 10.”

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