Growing up, my musical interests went through a series of phases. I was into the hair metal of bands like Def Leppard. Then, I got into the 90s gangsta rap of Tupac Shakur. And thanks to games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, I came back to ’90s alternative. These days, my music of choice is far more eclectic… but I can’t help but to be drawn to some straight venom. Here are a few tracks getting regular play in the Kwan household.

“Risk” by Metric

I’m actually quite surprised that I didn’t notice when Metric released Art of Doubt last month. Ever since I heard “Black Sheep” from the Scott Pilgrim soundtrack, I’ve been hooked. The new album offers a familiar sound, perhaps with less of an emphasis on the synths, drawing you in with tempo changes and catchy hooks.

Of course, the unmistakable vocal style of Emily Haines is featured front and center. And rightfully so. “No Lights on the Horizon” and “Art of Doubt” stand out for me on this album too.


“The Drone Racing League” by Gunship

Speaking of synth, far and away my favorite synth-pop band right now in Gunship. They really embrace the “tech noir” subgenre is a beautifully haunting way. Remember the movies in the 1980s and ’90s that depicted a somewhat dystopian, but very technologically advanced future?

That’s the kind of sound that Gunship achieves with many of its songs, including several on the new Dark All Day album. The first few seconds of “The Drone Racing League” bring up all the vibes, while “When You Grow Up, Your Heart Dies” aligns perfectly with John Hughes coming-of-age movies.


“Deserve” by Christina Aguilera

I first mentioned Christina Aguilera’s new album back in July. Again, there’s enough of the “old” Christina that we know and love here, but presented in a much more mature and vulnerable manner. And one of my favorite tracks off Liberation is “Deserve.” You can feel the pain and self-doubt in her voice. Just be aware of the NSFW language in this song, in case you ‘re playing it in public or in the company of children.


“Venom” by Eminem

I know. You’d think that if just one artist out of this list came with a NSFW warning, it’d be Eminem. And normally that would be true, as Kamikaze is filled with all sorts of colorful language.

But what I’ve embedded below was the neat “live” performance of “Venom” atop the Empire State Building New York City for Jimmy Kimmel Live. So, in effect, Eminem gave us the radio friendly version of “Venom” instead. While I still think that “Killshot” is a more compelling song (though it’s not on Kamikaze), this performance is in itself rather noteworthy.

That’s because, aside from the helicopter shots of the outside, I believe the video was shot entirely on the new Google Pixel 3. As you may know, I’ve been putting that phone through its paces myself and the full review has now been published.


“Lose Yourself” Metal Cover by Leo Moracchioli

And finally something a little bit different. Borrowing some inspiration from Eminem himself, Leo Moracchioli of Frog Leap Studios offers his special metal cover of “Lose Yourself” in a recent YouTube video. His channel is filled with incredible metal versions of all sorts of songs. “Zombie” by the Cranberries is especially good. There’s even a Baby Shark metal cover.

If you want to buy his music, it’s available through a variety of sources too. He’s up to volume 20, which includes the metal version of “What Does the Fox Say?”

What songs, albums or artists are you into these days?