Random MP3 connection of the day - The Ramones "Beat On The Brat" and Joy Division "Love Will Tear Us Apart".
"Beat On The Brat" is slower than I sing it in my head, very controlled and restrained in many ways. There is tension, as the song builds and you expect it to lurch forward wildly, but instead The Ramones hold it on the edge. Rather coolly in fact; they lock in the groove, and don't really modulate at all. No song about gleeful, wanton violence has ever been this controlled.
Joy Division are clenched equally but for an opposite reason - no explosion, no outward aggression, just an impending implosion held in check. The simple keyboard line on "Love Will Tear Us Apart" does double duty, giving guidance to the notes of the chorus Ian Curtis hints at but doesn't reach, and to blunt the attack of the drums. That drum tone is shockingly crisp, a biting cold snapping at your ears.
Neither Tommy Ramone nor Stephen Morris are given much credit in their respective band's critical biographies, though Tommy's replacement Marky has often pointed out the difficulty of replicating Tommy's style. The aural distinctiveness of the time keepers hold both these songs on a razor's edge, and back-to-back listening made me appreciate them both all the more.