best 90s distorted guitar feedback sounds
June 9, 2021 8:21 AM   Subscribe

Remember how, in the 90s, it was cool to end a song by hitting the last chord and sustaining it until the guitar started feeding back? Yeah me too, but apparently not as specifically as I thought. Looking for examples.

I'm looking for the best examples of that end-of-song feedback. The canonical one would probably be "Undone (The Sweater Song)" by Weezer, which feeds back for like 45 seconds after the last real musical effort. "Shimmer" by Fuel and "Universal Heart-Beat" by Juliana Hatfield have a good 20 seconds each of feedback. But the quantity doesn't matter as much as the quantity. Veruca Salt's "Seether" is only like 10 seconds, but the feedback sounds are incredible. The essential thing is that I want it to sound super 90s. Doesn't have to be actually from the 90s (Neil Young has had some good end feedback, for example), but should *sound* 90s. I can't really explain it, but I think people who listened to a lot of alt-rock in the 90s understand what I mean.
posted by kevinbelt to Media & Arts (27 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
 
Nirvana - Radio Friendly Unit Shifter (short)
Fugazi - By You (almost a minute).
posted by alrightokay at 8:37 AM on June 9


Guns 'n Roses Coma immediately comes to mind.
posted by bfranklin at 8:38 AM on June 9


Live: I Alone
posted by aerosolkid at 8:48 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]


I thought first of "Drown" by Smashing Pumpkins, of which I'd consider the later Weezer track to be a derivative.
posted by Mothlight at 8:49 AM on June 9


Poor Places by Wilco

Karma Police By Radiohead
posted by glaucon at 8:55 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]


Plowed by Sponge, one of the very first generation of incredibly catchy grunge ripoff hits.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:24 AM on June 9


You're right--this is such a 90s sound, it might be easier to find alternative songs that didn't use feedback at the end. A few off the top of my head:

Cranberries - Zombie

Foo Fighters - My Hero

Nirvana - All Apologies
Nirvana - Aneurysm
Nirvana - Heart-Shaped Box

Oasis - Live Forever

Radiohead - Airbag

Rage Against the Machine - Freedom

REM - What's the Frequency Kenneth?

Silverchair - Israel's Son

Smashing Pumpkins - An Ode to No One

Soundgarden - Blow Up the Outside World
posted by cursed at 9:30 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]


Where did it come from - who did it first? Penny Lane?
posted by Rash at 9:52 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]


Such a quintessentially 90s concept. For a while, it seemed like the only appropriate ways to end a popular rock song were to: a) repeat the chorus while fading out; b) make a sudden, abrupt stop; or c) just SLAM the last note and see where the feedback takes you.

Anyway, a couple fun implementations of it:

Failure - Stuck on You does something really cool with the ending feedback.

Smashing Pumpkins - Silverfuck has an entire other song inside the ending feedback.

Camper Van Beethoven - Pictures of Matchstick Men has fun with the trope by teasing like they've hit the last note. No, THIS is the last note. No, this.

Pearl Jam - Alive is just, IMO, the concept done really well.
posted by ZaphodB at 9:54 AM on June 9 [2 favorites]


I'll also add that Hootie & the Blowfish ended every song they ever recorded this way, but I'll be good goddamned if I'm linking to that.
posted by ZaphodB at 9:55 AM on June 9 [4 favorites]




I'll also add that Hootie & the Blowfish ended every song they ever recorded this way, but I'll be good goddamned if I'm linking to that.

In the same vein, if I remember right, the second Counting Crows album also had a lot of this.
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:14 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]


Hendrix and the lads recorded for the BBC a cover of Day Tripper with some pretty wild feedback at the end that would be acceptable for any 90s band. "Baby you just go to my head..."
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:43 AM on June 9




Weezer, "Pink Triangle"

(not saying the song isn't problematic, but it does do that thing, until it fades into the next song)
posted by limeonaire at 10:47 AM on June 9




The Jayhawks, "Ten Little Kids"
posted by COBRA! at 10:57 AM on June 9


Matthew Sweet kind of does this three times at the end of Sick of Myself.
posted by jabes at 11:10 AM on June 9 [2 favorites]


I was about to say Seether then read your question properly!

Ash did this a lot. Try Girl From Mars or Goldfinger. A few others:

The Charlatans - The Only One I Know

Elastica - Stutter

The Longpigs - She Said

The Stone Roses - I Wanna Be Adored
posted by greycap at 11:28 AM on June 9


Sloan's Take It In, Underwhelmed and I Am The Cancer all have it...come to think of it, feedback of the sort you're describing is quite literally all over the place on Smeared (it came out in 1993).
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:40 AM on June 9


I could have sworn that one of the songs in Superchunk's early album No Pocky For Kitty ended with a good 20-30 seconds of feedback, but I just skipped through the 12 tracks and none did (most ended in feedback but which was then quickly faded out).

Truly one of the greatest albums of all time though.
posted by intermod at 3:15 PM on June 9


I do love this. Some newer examples:

White Lung - "In Your Home"

The Intelligence - "Males" (kinda - descends into noise in a wonderful way)

The Ponys - "The Only One"

Bush - "Alien" (one of the longest out there)

Deerhunter - "Strange Lights" (Much of Cryptograms has extended intro/outros)

Espers - "Widow's Weed"

Juno - "Into the lavender crevices..." and "When I was in ___" (Juno is a rich source of these)

Medicine - The entire album Shot Forth Self Living is basically a long one of these but try "Miss Drugstore" and "Christmas Song"

And lastly, an alt recording of Saxon Shore's "Secret Fire, Binding Light" has to be the final boss of this particular phenomenon. By my count the last note is played around the 5 minute mark... of a nearly 18-minute track. But I can't find this track anywhere online!! I will send it to you if you want though.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 4:57 PM on June 9


Last ~25 seconds of Metric's 90s-style banger "Black Sheep" (2009).
posted by praemunire at 7:25 PM on June 9


Every single thing sonic youth ever did.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 9:06 PM on June 9


Teenage Fanclub: Neil Jung

Thanks for sending me back to listen to that!
posted by MinPin at 7:53 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]


It's more electrical hum than pleasing feedback, but Window Paine deserves mention in this category. But then, probably everything on Gish ends with feedback.
posted by troywestfield at 9:14 AM on June 10


Beastie Boys! - Sabotage
posted by JoeZydeco at 12:22 PM on June 10


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