I've been following the voting for John Axford's 2011 closer music closely now for a couple of weeks and now it is down to the final four. Each choice offers its owns benefits and each choice has its drawbacks, but they are all decent. The thing is that this is a really important decision. John Axford is 28 years old and if all goes well he could end up being the Brewers closer for the next 5-10 years. We could be stuck with this song for a long, long time. That's why it's important that we choose it ourselves and because I did such a good job when I personally selected Todd Coffey's entrance music, you should do what I say because I know my stuff.
What we should be looking for is a song that won't get old, but also a song that builds us up to a point where we want to scream our brains out. Something that gets the adrenaline pumping for the final three outs so we can get the win and go drink some more. That's what it's all about. Now, let's see what we're working with.
#1 Audioslave - Cochise
Probably the most popular of the bunch. Something you'll likely hear on 102.9 The Hog after Bob & Brian in the morning. That can be a good thing and a bad thing. When the Brewers are rolling and Axford is racking up the saves the song will fill you with pride for your team. However, when the Brewers are struggling and Axford blows a save or two you will want to throw your radio through the window. There were times last year when I heard the first few notes of "Hell's Bells" and pulled my truck into oncoming traffic. Those kids on that school bus know what I'm talking about. Not good times.
I picture the song starting as soon as the last out is made with Axford popping out of the bullpen right around the fifty second mark which would be pretty damn cool. I could see this one having some staying power and for what it's worth this is John Axford's personal favorite.
#2 Ennio Morricone - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
A classic song that nobody actually knows who it's by. You know, that one song that goes "dooty doo.. doo doo doo" from that one movie with the cowboys? A nice little song, but I don't really see it working as a long term solution. Would you even be able to hear it over the crowd after the first few notes? Does this song build you up, at all? It sounds cool, but it doesn't really say "get up on your feet."
It's like when a bunch of Brewers used Michael Jackson songs after he died. Sure, it was cool for a couple days, but I don't want to hear "Annie are you okay? Are you okay? Are you okay, Annie?" every day of my life. NEXT.
#3 Rage Against the Machine - Bulls on Parade
A classic, awesome, powerful song. Hard not to like this one, but do we really want a song about the American military-industrial complex leading us into the ninth inning of a potential win? Isn't that a bit heavy? One of the great things about "Hell's Bells" before Trevor Hoffman ruined it was the way the entire crowd sang along. Do you really want the crowd singing along lyrics like "Weapons not food, not homes, not shoes, not need, just feed the war cannibal animal"? Oh, who am I kidding nobody could actually knows the words to a Rage Against the Machine song. Zack De La Rocha doesn't even know the words to a Rage Against the Machine song.
Besides, have you ever listened to a Rage Against the Machine album from beginning to end? If you haven't believe me it is exhausting. I've gone on runs that were less tiring than listening to one of those things. Remember that thing I said about building you up? Rage doesn't do that. This song starts built up and stays there. It's like a second Red Bull. Bulls on Parade is a great song, but much better in smaller doses and not exactly what we're looking for.
#4 Refused - New Noise
Everyone has heard The Good, The Bad and The Ugly theme, Audioslave and Rage Against the Machine have sold millions of records and then there is Refused. A Swedish Umeå hardcore punk band that only music nerds and guys with eyebrow rings have ever heard of. How the hell did they get into the mix? Twitter. Jared from the defunct Brewers blog Right Field Bleachers sent John Axford a tweet recommending the song and John Axford said that he digged it. Since then it's been endorsed by friend of the blog Tyler Maas, gotten a lot of votes each round and even launched its own facebook page. It's like a Cinderella story, if Cinderella were a whore.
Jared recommends that the Brewers begin playing the song at 3:30 of the video with Axford kicking down the doors at the 4:08 mark. In the right circumstances I could see the song really exciting the crowd, building up from the part where he yells "GO!" and it getting REALLY loud by the time he steps out of the door. It might be a bit too hard for some people's taste, especially during the screaming part that would play as he threw warm up pitches, but I'm sure they could figure a way around that by sticking with the instrumentals. If this song was chosen it would be the most original entrance music in all of the Major League Baseball and that has to count for something.
In the end I have to go with my friends Tyler and Jared and vote for New Noise. Having a song that I know nobody else will have is just too appealing to pass up and it really passes the build up test. New Noise is the right song for the job. VOTE NEW NOISE!