Inspired mainly by seeing Eamon Hamilton of Brakes support British Sea Power last week these are my favourite very short songs. I love a bit of prog or post rock and am quite happy to listen to a 30 minute track in all it's glory but there are times when you can really say all you have to in 30 seconds and still have time for a quick guitar solo.
1. Brakes "Hi, How Are You?" (35 seconds) - Eamon's paean to people who talk at you whilst you're trying to watch live bands is traditionally the first song Brakes play live at every gig. It should strike a chord with anyone who's been at a gig trying to enjoy a particularly delicate instrumental medley whilst in ear shot of someone telling their freinds how great their new mobile phone is and what they did at the weekend. I saw Brakes play live sometime last year and they managed to play every song from their two albums plus a couple of b-sides and a cover in a little over an hour.
2. S.O.D. "Anti-Procrastination Song" (6 seconds) - The Stormtroopers of Death were basically a spin off band from thrash metal pioneers Anthrax and never expected anyone to take them seriously. Their debut album "Speak English or Die" understandably took some criticism for it's politically incorrect content but at heart was just a bunch of metal heads having a bit of fun. As someone who cannot claim to be that successful at avoiding procrastination I've kind of adopted this song as a theme tune. It's like an alarm that goes of in my head when I know I'm really not pulling my weight - I hear it a lot!
3. Minutemen "Please Don't Be Gentle With Me" (46 seconds) - From the Minutemen's classic "Double Nickels on the Dime" LP. An incredible hardcore-punk band I only discovered after seeing surviving members Mike Watt (the greatest bassist I have seen) and George Hurley play a short set in support of Steve Albini's Shellac. I was slightly disappointed that the 46 track "Double Nickels on the Dime" wasn't entirely made up of songs shorter than a minute, but it's a fantastic album of songs that rarely bother to trouble the two minute mark. Legends.
4. Undertones "She Can Only Say No" (54 seconds) - An extra track from the reissue of the Undertones debut album. It's a live recording and features about 10 seconds of crowd noise at the start. I love the Undertones and had to choose between this and second album bonus track "I Don't Want To See (You Again)" which demonstrates more than a small nod towards the Ramones. "She Can Only Say No" is the more obviously Undertones-ish sound, back when Fergal still enjoyed being in the band and life was simpler.
5. Lightning Bolt "Hello Morning" (56 seconds) - Noise rock. Avant garde. 56 seconds may be about as much as most people would want to take of Lightning Bolt. "Hello Morning" is the first track of the Bolt's excellent "Wonderful Rainbow" LP. I couldn't find any video of this particular song but the clip below will probably tell you all you need to know about them.