Top 5 Choices for the Kraken Goal Song

The Seattle Kraken are going to want to kick off their inaugural season on a high note, and one important factor is a great goal song. There are tons of electrifying songs across the various music genres, but the key is to find the right one. The Kraken need a goal song that not only electrifies the crowd, but gives their fanbase an identity.

The Hockey Writers’ Peter Baracchini wrote a fantastic piece detailing the connection between hockey and rock music. In the spirit of that, this list is going to be mostly focusing on rock ‘n’ roll and contain five songs. Each song will be judged based on three categories: great guitar riff, anthemic chorus and Seattle connection. Following will be an overall score out of 15. 

St. Louis Blues fans
The crowd cheers after the St. Louis Blues win Game Four of the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Final (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Great Riff: A great riff can come in many shapes and sizes. It could be six notes, or a whole phrase of playing. When at the start of a song, a great riff is what’s going to suck you in and make you want more. An example of this is, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses. It’s Slash making the guitar sing. Another being “Layla” by Derek and the Dominos, where it’s a shorter riff that Eric Clapton continuously expands upon until it fully takes hold of you. 

Anthemic Chorus: This one almost goes without saying. Many songs that are heard at games are songs that people love to sing along to. The most obvious examples are “Livin’ On A Prayer” by Bon Jovi and “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey. It could be at a hockey game, a bar or in your backyard with friends; if one of those songs comes on, everyone is singing along. It creates an electric atmosphere. 

Seattle Connection: An integral way to grow the Kraken fanbase is to go with a song from an artist that has a good connection to Seattle. This can be seen in Nashville thanks to an article by THW’s Koby Mitchell showing its connection between hockey and music. Seattle was known as a home for the grunge movement of the mid-1980s and early 1990s. All of these artists will have a connection to Seattle. However, recency bias could come into play and hinder the depth of the present day connection.

Song 1: My Hero – Foo Fighters

Grades:

Great Riff – 2

Anthemic Chorus – 4

Seattle Connection – 4

Overall – 10/15

This is the first of two Foo Fighters songs that cracked the list. The Foo Fighters formed in 1994 in Seattle by Dave Grohl, formerly of Nirvana. It originally started as a one-man project, and blossomed into a band that has won 11 Grammy awards

This is a tune that would have to be played from the start of the first chorus. There aren’t really any riffs that stand out and draw you in as much as other riffs on this list. Good guitar playing, but not enough to really stand out from the pack. It doesn’t dominate the song and suck you in. 

The main reason this song is on the list is because of the chorus. After a goal, the song should start from the chorus. It’s not the highest-tempo chorus, but more powerful due to the content of the lyrics. How fitting would it be to hear that song playing after an overtime game winner in the playoffs? That player would then embody the lyrics of the song.

Song 2: Monkey Wrench – Foo Fighters

Grades:

Great Riff – 5

Anthemic Chorus – 4

Seattle Connection – 4

Overall – 13/15

The second Foo Fighters song on the list is the perfect example of a riff grabbing hold from the start of a song and not letting go. Its roaring guitar jumps into your face and doesn’t back down. 

The song, but specifically the chorus, reflects not wanting to be controlled by someone. Especially in a game where scoring a goal can completely shift momentum, the song fits perfectly. Once a goal is scored and the horn sounds, the song should start from the first chorus and play out through the start of the second verse.

Being that these two Foo Fighters songs came out in 1997, there’s a chance that many younger fans wouldn’t be as familiar with them. The Foo Fighters are fourth-most popular among Baby Boomers, fifth among Generation X and sixth among Millennials, according to a YouGov study of their popularity. 

Song 3: Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana

Grades: 

Great Riff – 4

Anthemic Chorus – 5

Seattle Connection – 5

Overall – 14/15

It would be almost disrespectful to leave this one off the list. Nirvana is the most popular band ranked among Generation X, and the second-most popular among Baby Boomers and Millennials, according to YouGov. Whether it’s knowing their discography, or wearing the classic smiley face shirt, most people know who Nirvana is.

Despite the main riff being a rather simple string of power chords, it builds up and is repeated in a shouted chorus by the late Kurt Cobain that’ll have the crowd jumping. While the chords are simple, they drive the song forward and only help build up the chorus after the more tame verses. “Here we are now, entertain us,” is a perfect line for a hockey game. After lighting the lamp, start this one from the second chorus.

Nirvana formed in 1987, and despite originating in Aberdeen, WA, were a major part of Seattle’s grunge movement and will forever be a part of its history. An easily identifiable song, it was ranked ninth out of 500 on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list. What better way to forge a connection with a fan base than a song that is entrenched in the cultural history of their city?

Song 4: Purple Haze – The Jimi Hendrix Experience


Grades:

Great Riff – 5

Anthemic Chorus – 2

Seattle Connection – 4

Overall – 11/15

If anyone could make the guitar sing, it was Hendrix. “Purple Haze” may have one of the most infectious riffs of any rock song. Hendrix was born in Seattle, and his career was short, but he’s considered “the most gifted instrumentalist of all time,” according to his inductee page at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and he shines on this tune.

Where this song earns its points is its opening riff. The puck crosses the line, the horn blares, and you have the first 30 seconds of groovin’ guitar before the verse comes in. The guitar is what really drives this song onto this list. It brings a contagious energy that can keep a crowd going after a goal.

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The track loses some points for not having an anthemic chorus. There is no chorus to the song, just three verses. While each verse starts out with a reference to purple haze, there’s no anthemic, unifying factor to it aside from the guitar. 

Hendrix’s popularity among Millennials and Generation X sits at seventh, while popularity among Baby Boomers sits at 35th, according to YouGov. It may be harder for younger fans to get into it the way some older fans will, which is something to consider. 

Song 5: Even Flow – Pearl Jam

Grades:

Great Riff – 4

Anthemic Chorus – 4

Seattle Connection – 4

Overall – 12/15

One of Pearl Jam’s most popular songs, “Even Flow” kicks off with a riff that repeats itself throughout the first verse. Right when the goal is scored the song can be thrown on from the top and left to run until play resumes. 

The energy drawn from the guitar transfers right into Eddie Vedder’s vocals to start off the first verse in a way that can fuel the fire initiated by a goal. The chorus may not have the same power as some others on this list, but it is definitely one that a crowd can along sing to.

Pearl Jam formed in Seattle in 1990. They are ranked second-most popular among Generation X and third among Baby Boomers, while falling to 11th among Millenials, according to YouGov

The Kraken will want to select a song that will energize the crowd and keep building on the momentum scored by a goal. Selecting the right song is not only important in helping build the atmosphere for the fans, but giving the team and fan base an identity. There are tons of options, and these five songs are among the best. 


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