The Buffalo Sabres are holding an eight-song bracket challenge to allow for fan input as they choose their official goal song for the upcoming season. Half the bracket is composed of tunes chosen by the players themselves; the other half consists of songs tossed into the hat by Entercom stations in the area – Kiss 98.5, Alternative Buffalo 107.7, WGR 550, and Star 102.5.
The songs in the Entercom portion of the bracket are “Howl,” by the Gaslight Anthem; “We Party (You Shout),” by Andrew W.K.; “Let Me Clear My Throat,” by DJ Kool; and “Coming For You,” by the Offspring.
The Sabres flagged, for its portion of the bracket, “Swords of a Thousand Men,” by Tenpole Tudor; “Krazy,” by Pitbull; “Yeah Yeah Yeah,” by New Politics; and “The Boys are Back,” by Dropkick Murphys. (You can cast your vote, through Oct. 8. The winner will be revealed when the Sabres bury the biscuit for the first time at a home game this season.)
Most of the tunes in the bracket are pretty lame, as far as Gladiator-styled anthems go, but one of them – the Dropkick Murphys’ Celtic-punk throw-down “The Boys Are Back,” a Sabres pick that was employed in a very high-profile manner by arch-rivals the Boston Bruins when the team returned from the 2012-2013 season lockout – is just plain strange. Let’s leave the Bean-town punk anthems to Boston sports fans, shall we?
Here’s my take.
Of Entercom-flagged tunes in the bracket, the Gaslight Anthem’s “Howl” is the best choice. It’s rowdy and loud, and the band may or may not have been drunk when they recorded it. It’s exciting, at least.
The Andrew W.K. tune is simply too meat-headed, even for a sporting event. It sounds like something Beavis and Butthead would jump around on the couch too.
“Let Me Klear My Throat,” by DJ Kool, was already “un-Kool” by the end of its year of release, 1996, and by this point, is pretty much the equivalent of “Cotton-Eyed Joe.” Meaning, it should be in its own bracket reading “Please, no, not now, not ever again.”
The Offspring’s “Coming for You” at least makes a little sense, but still – is this really the best we can do?
Geez. When Toni Lydman was still a Sabre, we at least might’ve gotten some obscure Nordic death-metal tune as a choice. Sigh.
The Entercom portion of the bracket basically comes down to advertising for the playlists of the respective stations. Is that gross, to you? Or is it just me? Maybe I’m reading too much into this. I tend to do that.
At any rate, the only tenable choice here is the Tenpole Tudor tune. For those of you not necessarily up on your punk rock trivia, Tenpole Tudor was/is a British punk band formed in 1977, best known for its appearance in the 1978 Sex Pistols film “The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle.” “Swords of a Thousand Men” is a New Wave-tinged punk tune with one of those shout-along choruses favored with endless enthusiasm, apparently, by sports fans.
The New Politics’ “Yeah Yeah Yeah” might work, since it sounds an awful lot like Blur’s “Song 2,” which has long been an NHL favorite.
“Krazy,” by Pitbull, should only be played on yachts docked in Miami, where beautiful people drink champagne that costs more per bottle than I make per month, and gorgeous women pretend that Pitbull is someone they’d favor with even a first glance if he wasn’t rolling in music industry greenbacks. That tune is horrible. The threat of hearing it every time the Sabres score will leave me no choice but to hope they never score.
None of these songs would get me particularly pumped whenever a Sabres puck finds the back of the net. But here are a few that might.
“Broken Beat and Scarred,” by Metallica
Let’s face it, the best “Go team!” anthems are the ones featuring heavily distorted guitars and choruses sung in unison by angry white men who may or may not have drinking problems, but certainly have some issues they need to “focus on.” This one is particularly ferocious, and it goes well with cold beer. Kinda like hockey itself.
“Thunderstruck,” by AC/DC
Yes, I know, this “marching off to war” anthem has been used at sporting events often in the past. That’s because it’s perfect. For the same reasons the Metallica song mentioned above is perfect. Why fix what ain’t broke?
“Fight the Power,” by Public Enemy
We like to think that a goal for our team is somehow a blow against “the man,” the evil empire or the Hockey Gods themselves, the very ones who thought “No goal!” was an occurrence in human history that should’ve been allowed to stand. For “sticking it to the man”-style emotions, I routinely turn to Public Enemy.
“The Boys Are Back in Town,” by Thin Lizzy
This one has been used before as well, but it’s still a far better choice than the Dropkick Murphys tune, which owes it a clear debt.
“Money City Maniacs,” by Sloan
This has everything a great hockey anthem should – shout-along chorus, memorable riff and so forth. It also has the benefit of not having been beaten to death already. Oh, and Sloan is Canadian. Just like hockey.
And if all else fails, maybe we could hold a contest where local bands or artists compete for the chance to write the best hockey anthem for their hometown team?
Just a thought. I’ve heard that there is a pretty healthy music scene in this town.