Meek Is Murder is no stranger to the artistry behind guitar feedback. Every time the band enters God City Studio with Kurt Ballou, you can be assured a portion of recording time will be devoted to finding that perfect layer to fill the gamut between soothing and abrasive. Such is the case with Meek’s upcoming album, Was, to be released July 15th.
Naturally, we asked Meek’s guitar player and feed back aficionado, Mike Keller, to weigh in on what he considers the “Top 13 of Guitar Feedback” albums. Without further ado…
Guitar feedback is the best sound. It is the sonic circle of life. On one of our EPs there is guitar track that is literally just feedback. Throw your gate pedal in the trash because it is really limiting my enjoyment. In no particular order, here are some songs that fully embrace the one true noise.
Nirvana – “Radio Friendly Unit Shifter”
Maybe the first feedback I ever heard, or at least the first time I asked myself “what is this glorious noise?” Also maybe the highest fidelity recording of shitty, broken electronics ever captured.
Slayer – “South of Heaven”
I was really scared the first time I heard this. The end of the song features some of the best controlled feedback on record, performed none other than Satan himself, I think.
Converge – “Vengeance”
Converge has laid down some of the gnarliest, boutique feedback throughout their lengthy career. The first four songs of No Heroes are the soundtrack to my life, which obviously has a lot of feedback in it.
Meek is Murder – “Sundowners”
Whatever, I can put my own band on the list if I want. All I did was stand in front of some rad amps for a while- it was Kurt Ballou that made it come alive. His mixing really composed this minute long feedback segue, turning it from an objectively bad idea into a cool (I think) segue.
Weekend Nachos – “Worthless”
This came out in 2011, the same year as our record Algorithms. Both albums feature songs with minute-plus feedback features- chalk it up to the grindcore zeitgeist.
Dead in the Dirt – “Strength Through Restraint”
Metz – “The Swimmer”
The combination feedback/amp buzz intro creates an unsettling Cronenberg-esque soundscape. These noise-rockers just get it.
Weezer – “Falling For You”
Shut up, I still like Weezer, fuck you. This is a really emotional album and the feedback on this track parallels and intensifies the raw passion put out by Rivers and co. So many feels.
Nails – “Scum Will Rise“
I am moshing now.
East of the Wall – “Naif”
Start your album with incredible feedback and I will probably love it. Combine it with some of the most impressive musicianship I’ve ever heard and you have a recipe for success.
O’Brother – “Malum”
Another not-so-heavy band that sold me instantly by starting their record with insanely brutal feedback. Nicely done, dudes.
The Chariot – “Evan Perks”
Those amps are probably broken, but they sound great. This is some of the more dynamic feedback I’ve heard, which suitably embodies the energy of the band’s visceral live performance. RIP.
At The Gates – “The Flames of the End”
Not my favorite ATG song, but an incredible ending to an incredible record. The mixture of symphonic elements and guitar feedback cultivates an enjoyable Swedish cocktail, indeed.
Pre-order Meek Is Murder’s upcoming album, Was, right here!