by Bill Forman
Yes, it's the Indy's annual — and highly subjective — countdown of the year's most intriguing, compelling and just plain enjoyable songs. You can pick up our December 26 issue to find the complete story, along with a rundown of local musicians' favorites. In the meantime, here's #1....
The Coup, “Guillotine”
“Anger is an energy,” Johnny Rotten once snarled, but I’m fairly sure that nothing in the punk-rock canon can match the intensity of this track from Oakland’s premiere hip-hop duo. Try this lyric on for size:
Please sir, may we have another portion?
We’re children of the beast that dodged the abortion
Neck placed firm ’tween the floor and the Florsheim
We’ll shut your shit down, don’t call it extortion
This irresistibly catchy track comes complete with choppy guitar riffs and infectious vocal chants (“We got the guillotine / You’d better run”) that can hold their own against George Clinton’s best. Add in a rumbling electrofunk groove that does the Gap Band’s “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” one better, and there’s no doubt that the Coup has finally outdone itself. Like the song’s French Revolution-themed video, which echoes the wildly theatrical aesthetics of Broadway’s The Wiz and Spike Lee’s Bamboozled, “Guillotine” is as intoxicating as it is incendiary.