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Heavy Metal Kegger

Ah, yes, the kegger — the communal bender that just about every social bracket can agree on. If you bring cheap libations, secured in steel and bathed in a tub of ice, the masses will come.

For the metalhead, a kegger means it's time to get brew-tal. And, in the fine tradition of heavy metal, many bands pay tribute to the drink that fuels dudely headbutts, fist-pumping and the occasional breaking of chairs.

With these five inebriating anthems, raise your plastic cups on high (over 21 only, thanks) and let the debauchery begin.

For more entries in this summer's weekly It's Time to Party: Summer Songs series, click here.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Beer Pressure

This list absolutely must start with the thrash revivalists in Municipal Waste. Case in point: The artwork for The Art of Partying features zombies invading a veritable Heavy Metal Kegger, complete with beer, radioactive vomit and blood. Clearly, the band's devotion to partying is strong. "Beer Pressure" features a skit about a square who'd rather see his orthodontist than get tanked. Municipal Waste quickly puts this lame-oid to shame with lightning-fast, punked-up metal fury, coining the motto of keggers everywhere: "Death to being sober."

Wenches & Mead

Alestorm may not be the only pirate metal band terrorizing the open seas (yes, there are more), but it's the only crew brave enough to prominently feature the keytar's accordion setting. These purveyors of True Scottish Pirate Metal sing about the concerns under Jolly Rogers everywhere: looting, cannons, swashbuckling, formidable peg legs, wenches and, of course, beer. After a long journey fighting off the British fleet, getting out of hexes and hauling gold, a pirate needs a good brew and a good woman. And aren't those treasures so much better when there's a jaunty tune involved? And as it happens, "Wenches & Mead" has a killer double-lead guitar to sweeten the sing-along.

Shot Down

There's always that one dude at the kegger who brings down the good vibes -- the one who's invariably just gotten dumped. Apparently, he started a band called Viking Skull, which is just the oddly introspective, no-frills, Iron Maiden-worshipping quintet to write a studded-jacket loner's anthem. After a brief acoustic intro, "Shot Down" dispenses enough bluesy riffs to hammer away the pain as you get hammered yourself. You may be completely and utterly alone, but at least you've got "Shot Down," right?

Thirsty and Miserable

A hearty belch and a beer can popping open begin this version of Black Flag's ode to hitting the liquor store before closing time. But this ain't your artsy reimagining of some Black Flag cassette you vaguely remember. (We're looking at you, Dirty Projectors.) The Los Angeles doom-metal legends in Saint Vitus paid tribute to their then-current label boss (Greg Ginn of Black Flag) by covering "Thirsty and Miserable" the way it should sound: like a pack of inebriated miscreants desperate for their next Colt 45. The guitarist slurs his power chords, sounding just as wasted as Wino when he intones, "Thirsty and miserable / always wanting more." Advisory: Some language may not be appropriate for all ages.

Puke

You have done your mind and body grievous harm all night. The keg has been sucked dry, and -- against what little judgment you had left -- you switched to hard liquor. Now it is time to let forth your misdeeds upon the porcelain goddess. Thankfully, in its 27-year history of "alcoholic metal," the thrash-metal band Tankard has not left one beer-related topic unsung, so we look to it for the final chapter in any Heavy Metal Kegger: "Puke." (Really, could this band be from anywhere but Germany?) It's a one-minute blast that's every bit as gut-wrenching -- and not in the emotional way -- as you'd think it would be. Andreas Geremia even lets out a vomitous yell before he hits the last refrain: "Puke! Puke! I drank too much / Vomit on the chair / Puke! Puke! I drank too much / Even in my hair."

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