By Chris Chase

From last week’s playlist of toned-down, acoustic-based songs, we move to the other end of the spectrum this time, with a group of songs that turns the volume way up. You won’t find any heavy metal here, but instead, these are tunes that, generally, blend disorted guitars and fast tempos with strong melodies that’ll make you want to mash the loud pedal.

Careful – Paramore

It’s easy to write Paramore off as just another teeny-bopper band, but they deserve far more credit than that. Singer Hayley Williams shrugs off the stereotypes attached to many young female vocalists by writing solid lyrics mainly based on her Christian beliefs and the contradictions she’s seen in her upbringing. Williams may be a good girl, but she can rock with the best of them, singing her butt off on the band’s louder songs, of which this one is an eminent example. Paramore – and frontwoman Williams in particular – are known for an animated live show. Buy: iTunes |

Nothingwrong – Jimmy Eat World

As the very definition of an “emo” pop band, Jimmy Eat World rarely get too raucous, but this song, from the 2004 album called Futures, explores the band’s punky roots. The lyrics do have a punk sensibility to them, reading like the manifesto of disenfranchised youth who only want to be taken seriously by the adults who make the rules. If you play guitar and like hard rock, you’ll appreciate the “drop-D” tuning that gives the main riff its dirty, grungy feel. Buy: iTtunes |

Try It Again – The Hives

Sweden’s The Hives have been an instrumental part of the revival of “garage rock” I was torn between whether to include this song or the better-known Tick Tick Boom (both are from the The Black and White Album, released in 2007), but Try It Again wins for its (ironic?) inclusion of a girls choir. When UK magazine New Music Express reviewed this record, it aptly described this tune as “a head-shaking garage romp backed by a riot grrrl choir that comes on like it snorted Mick Jagger’s ashes for breakfast and is just now getting round to thinking about coming back for seconds.” Buy: iTunes |

Run & Hide – The Watchmen

Before the band’s four members went their separate ways in2003, The Watchmen were one of Canada’s best, and sadly underrated, rock bands. Many fans would argue that their first record, McLaren Furnace Room, is their best, sounding like it was recorded “live off the floor,” with few overdubs. Run & Hide is my hard rock highlight for its distorted bass guitar and a middle section that pits singer Danny Greaves’ harmonica against Joey Serlin’s electric guitar. For listeners with sensitive ears, be warned that there’s a four-letter word in the first verse. Buy: iTunes

Animals – Nickelback

I hardly count myself among the biggest of Nickelback fans, but this song is an exception. Animals is three minutes of all-out rock, with lyrics describing a couple of teenagers getting busy in the back of dad’s car. One of my favourite things about this one are the lyrics, actually, which are graphic enough to raise your eyebrows, but never cross the line into true vulgarity. If you had to own one Nickelback tune, this is the one I’d recommend. Buy: iTunes

Connect with