We all get excited to hear about guest appearances on upcoming albums that we’re looking forward to, even if they end up being terrible. Hopefully they end up being pretty damn good though. We thought it’d be great to do a PropertyOfZack Friday Discussion on The Best Guest Appearances from multiple bands in our scene. We put the tracks together in an Rdio Playlist to listen to as you read the Discussion as well. Check out our list below and feel free to reblog with some of your favorite guest appearances!
The Wonder Years - “All My Friends Are In Bar Bands (ft. Shane Henderson, Dave Mackinder, Matty Arsenault, Jamie Rhoden, Nik Bruzzese, Charlie Saxton, Nick O’Neill)
“Defend Pop Punk,” as belabored of a mantra as it is now, probably peaked in 2010, when Man Overboard slapped the trademark rifle on their debut full-length art, but The Wonder Years probably shouldered the bulk of the defending. And after The Upsides closed with the rousing “All My Friends Are in Bar Bands,” us pop-punk fans should’ve just considered the genre defended.
The list of singers featured on the track still reads like a veritable who’s-who of pop-punk (If pop-punk needed defending, The Wonder Years brought an army to do it): Shane Henderson of Valencia, Dave Mackinder of Fireworks, Matty Arsenault from A Loss For Words, Title Fight’s Jamie Rhoden, and Nik Bruzzese of Man Overboard fame (oh, and Charlie Saxton, of all people). The guest spots themselves are short and sweet: everyone takes a quick step up to the microphone to sing “I’m not sad anymore / I’m just tired of this place / If this year would just end / I think we’d all be OK.” And with each emphatic delivery, you start believing it. - Erik van Rheenen
blink-182 - “All Of This (ft. Robert Smith of The Cure)”
Cataloging a band’s evolution in sound can be a fun process. “Well, it makes sense that song X sounds like this because the last song on their previous record started to go in this direction…The new album follows suit.” Or, “The guitarist in the band is new and his last band sounded like this, so here’s why that guitar part on song X sounds like this.” So on and so forth.
blink-182’s Untitled record has a lot of songs that make you question how they got there. ”All Of This” is probably the best possible example of that. It’s well known that Mark, Tom, and Travis grew up loving The Cure and Robert Smith, so being a fan of the The Cure or not, it’s rad to hear how the song came together.
The track is full of the back and forth known between blink’s vocalists, but Tom’s nasally vocals clash in a great sense with Robert Smith’s low, experienced, and calm verse and choruses. The song is the darkest sounding track on the album along with “I Miss You,” and it carries a special eeriness. “All Of This” in general is one of the songs on Untitled that proves its strength and well-roundedness. - Zack Zarrillo
Fall Out Boy - “What A Catch, Donnie (ft. Elvis Costello, Travis McCoy, William Beckett, Gabe Saporta)”
“What a Catch, Donnie” is the swan song of Fall Out Boy’s Folie a Deux. It’s not the album closer, but it is the album’s closure; a beautiful, piano-based ballad that focuses all of FOB’s talent and snark into one powerful, emotional track that seems to say everything at once about the state of FOB’s career and relationships without actually saying anything. I’ve always felt that it was one of, if not the, most important song Fall Out Boy’s ever written, and the sense of closure comes with particular obviousness in the finale.
Not only is there a reprise of a lyric from another Folie track sang beautifully by none other than Elvis Costello, there’s also a quilt of past lyrics interwoven into the end and sung by a cast of Fall Out Boy related characters, from Travie McCoy (Gym Class Heroes) to William Beckett (The Academy Is…) to Gabe Saporta (Midtown/Cobra Starship). The significance of having all your best friends proverbially in the same room to close out a song that seems indicative of the dissolution of your band is not a detail to be overlooked, and the homage paid to old lyrics could even be considered a eulogy.
Fall Out Boy has never done anything without a double entendre or a deeper meaning, and “Donnie” is no exception. Thank God this swan ending wasn’t the last drop in the pan, though - otherwise we never would have gotten Elton John on “Save Rock and Roll.” - Adrienne Fisher