10 Metal Songs to Get You Pumped for Local Girls

by Sam Henderson

1.  "Abigail", King Diamond

King Diamond is to metal as hydrogen is to the elements. He is silly as fuck. No matter how seriously anyone takes it, metal, at its heart, is and always will be, silly as fuck.

"You know, him and Alistair Crowley were tight bros from way back when." - Derek

2.  "Blackened", Metallica

Metallica was selling millions of records and cramming stadiums full of fans with no radio play and no music videos. To my thinking, they were the most successful independent band of the 80's. Beloved bassist Cliff Burton had just died, his energy was missing from this album, but so were his 20-minute bluesy wah-pedal bass solos. Metallica's finest moment and the apotheosis of Thrash, the most popular metal genre of the 80's.

3.  "Phantom of the Opera", Iron Maiden

Oh good God, they had it all: Operatic vocals, dual harmony lead guitars, and a great logo accompanied by an actual mascot, Eddie the zombie. Eddie got a little more messed up with each new album cover. He must be mulch by now. All their songs are about either war or some kind of speculative fiction genre. The singer is an Olympic fencer and flies their jet when they tour. Please go listen to Iron Maiden right now.

4.  "Polaris", Megadeth

By Rust in Peace, Megadeth was arguably the tightest of the Big Four of Thrash (Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Exodus). Their songs were accessible, sometimes almost pop ("Hangar 18"), but bashed out by a great quartet, who were, unfortunately, accompanied by the unlovely vocal stylings of Dave Musitaine, whose legendary self-regard would never, ever recover from being kicked out of Metallica. In a recent (appalling) Metallica documentary, Musitaine broke down in tears about it. Ha ha ha ha! Lead guitarist Marty Friedman destroys on this record.

5.  "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver", Primus

Bassist Les Caypool flunked his Metallica audition for being too good. Guitarist Larry LaLonde studied with guitar god Joe Satriani and played with death metal progenitors Possessed for some reason. This song has no chords and no melody, it is entirely made of rhythm and chromatic noodling. I think Primus is a unique, personal expression of Bay Area metal traditions, but nobody has ever, ever agreed with me. But I was asked to make a list and they weren't, because they're all dumb and wrong. Primus!

6.  "Verminess", Pig Destroyer

Contemporary grindcore. I love Pig Destroyer. Their songs are all roughly around GBV or Minutemen length. If I could turn off the vocals it would be literally perfect.

7.  "Red Baron/Blue Max", Iced Earth

Straight-up Iron Maiden ripoff band. I don't care. They're wonderful. This album is so fucking dumb. Check out the pair(!) of 9/11 anthems and the quasi-orchestral three-section opus-thing about Gettysburg. And the song about Attila the Hun! Ha ha ha ha!

8.  "Photograph", Def Leppard

Yep. Straight out of the same scene as King Diamond and Motorhead. Go figure. This is what's meant by Hair Metal. My sister played this record a lot and I thought she was cool. I still do.

9.  "You Suffer But Why?", Napalm Death

"Shortest Song" according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Napalm Death invented grindcore, a genre defined by blast beats and that Cookie Monster style of screaming that is a major plot point of LOCAL GIRLS, and a hallmark of most contemporary death or grindcore bands.

10.  "Free the Bee", Melt Banana

Besides the blast beat chorus, not very metal. Melt Banana is an unclassifiable Japanese hardcore band. But Thigh Trap, the band in LOCAL GIRLS, uses this song to get pumped up before shows. Thigh Trap likes cyborgs, resurrection, Vampire Hunter D, There Will Be Blood Tonight, chiptune, and Melt Banana. They like what they like, and if they say it's metal, it's metal. To paraphrase punk legend D. Boon, Metal is whatever we made it to be. Thigh Trap doesn't like wolf people, though.

Sam Henderson, metal fan, plays Francis in LOCAL GIRLS.

Recent shows include 100 (FringeArts Festival), Closer (Luna Theater), and Three Sisters (Arden Theatre Company). Member of InterAct Theatre's Core Playwright's Program and the Foundry, a lab for emerging playwrights.