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Epic Rocking is the trope for really long songs. This trope is the opposite. Miniscule Rocking is when a song is unusually short, either by normal standards or the band's standards (or, in many cases, both). Yet, much like Epic Rocking, these songs will frequently contain no lyrics - after all, it's hard to fit meaningful lyrics into a piece that only lasts 30 seconds.

Of course, if you have a band that specialises in songs of Epic Rocking length, a song of normal length by everyone else standards would, for them, be an example of this trope.

Needs a Better Description.

Examples:


Rock

  • Sparklehorse's first 2 albums had plenty of this trope, with "850 Double Pumper Holley", "Little Bastard Choo Choo", "Ballad of a Cold Lost Marble", "Box of Stars" (a 1:20 song split into 2 uneven parts) and "Good Morning Spider".
  • Muse have "Intro" and "Interlude" from Absolution, at 0:19 and 0:38 respectively. Let's not forget the Starlight Hidden Track, either.
  • The Beatles have the 0:32 Sgt. Pepper Inner Groove, the 0:23 "Her Majesty" and the 0:41 "Maggie Mae".
  • The appropriately named "Tiny Little Song" by Barenaked Ladies.
  • Most of the songs that comprise "Fingertips" by They Might Be Giants. From the wiki: "Fingertips" is a series of twenty-one short tracks ranging in duration from four to sixty-one seconds (although most of them are under fifteen), totaling four minutes and thirty-five seconds. Also "Theme From Flood" and "Minimum Wage".
  • Several songs from The Who's Tommy- "It's a Boy", "Miracle Cure". All of the "adverts" in The Who Sell Out.
  • "Old Mother Reagan" by the Violent Femmes (0:38).
  • "Lily of the Valley" by Queen. 1 minute and 43 seconds of pure epicness.
  • Coldplay have "Parachutes" (0:46) and "Postcards from Far Away" (0:48). Their album Mylo Xyloto adds 3 mood-setting pieces: the title track, "M.M.I.X" and "A Hopeful Transmission".
  • Relient K has done many of these songs, which usually have the longest titles of any of their tracks. For example, The Only Thing Worse That Beating A Dead Horse Is Betting On One is a little over a minute. This trope is lampshaded with the song Crayons Can Melt On Us For All I Care, in which lead singer Matt Thiessen sings "I just wasted ten seconds of your life." And yes, this track is little over ten seconds.
  • Pearl Jam's "Pry, To", "Lukin", and "Red Dot" (that track on Yield that has a little red dot in place of a title) are all just a little longer than a minute. "Pry, To" and "Red Dot" have one line repeated over a few times, but "Lukin" actually fits in two whole verses of lyrics, due to Eddie Vedder using some fairly impressive Motor Mouth skills.
  • A couple of songs from U2's Rattle and Hum - Freedom For My People and The Star Spangled Banner.
  • REM have "Underneath the Bunker", at 1:27 - longer than most of the examples here, but still arguably short enough to count (normal R.E.M song length being around 4 minutes).
  • "The Enemies" and "Untitled" by Everything Else are both under three minutes. Not extremely short, but they are compared to the other songs on the album.
  • "Little Room" from The White Stripes. It has lyrics (a single verse), and isn't especially short for a band that mostly produces 2-3 minute songs, but it still weighs in at only 53 seconds long.
  • Modest Mouse's Sad Sappy Sucker has ten tracks that are under a minute long and two that are under two minutes. Granted, nine of those are bonus demos that Isaac Brock recorded on an answering machine and thus couldn't be all that long. They've done this a few times since: Good News For People Who Love Bad News has "Dig Your Grave" (0:13), "Interlude (Milo)" (0:58) and "Horn Intro"[1] (0:09)
  • Bush's "X-Girlfriend" closes out Sixteen Stone with exactly 45 seconds of the line "you only call me when you're down" set to a simple, punk-ish riff. They were probably going for deliberate anticlimax, because the second-to-last song, "Alien" is six minutes long and thus the closest thing the album has to Epic Rocking.
  • Julia Nunes' Settle Down has a trio of short songs she's referred to as "vignettes": "He Is Mad" (52 seconds), "I Wasn't Worried" (57 seconds) and "Pizza" (23 seconds).
  • The Soul Coughing B Side "Theme From Rachel's Sitcom" is just over a minute long, probably in keeping with the whole mock-tv-show-theme thing.
  • Weezer's "Evaline" is forty four seconds long, although it's a cover of a barbershop song with no known author. At the time the band were learning such material to practice harmonizing with each other, so they decided it'd be fun to record one and put it out as a B Side.
  • Linkin Park's "Foreword" from Meteora (a 13-second intro) and about 5 songs from both A Thousand Suns and Reanimation, as well as "Wake" from Minutes to Midnight and, now that we know the track lengths, "Tinfoil" and "Victimized" from the upcoming album Living Things... yeah, Linkin Park like this trope.
  • This is Guided By Voices' main shtick.
  • The Frogs' "Who's Sucking On Grandpa's Balls Since Grandma Ain't Home Tonight?" is 11 seconds long. As you might expect, the only lyric the song has is the title itself.


Progressive Rock/Metal

  • Yes have an example that is both kinds of this trope, Five Per Cent For Nothing, at 0:35 - extremely short for any band, and Yes are known for producing such 20-minute epics as Close to the Edge. There's also "We Have Heaven" (1:40) and "White Car" (1:21) which are mainly examples of the second kind.
  • "Vacant" by Dream Theater, which is on an album with five songs clocking over ten minutes, is a variation on the second kind.
    • Also, Dream Theater's "Wait for Sleep" fits in the second category as a song of 2:32 sandwiched between a 7-minute song and an 11-minute song, with only one other song under 5 minutes on the entire album.
    • Scenes From a Memory has "Regression" (2:06) and "Through My Words" (1:02).
  • Occasionally seen on Tool albums ("Mantra", "Lipan Conjuring", etc.)
  • King Crimson has the three Peace songs from In the Wake of Poseidon.
  • Several from Pink Floyd, including "Bring the Boys back Home" (0:51) and the second part of "A New Machine" (0:39).
    • The first is one of three in The Wall (along with "Goodbye Cruel World" and "Stop").


Grindcore

  • Grindcore in general is infamous for this.
  • "You Suffer" by Napalm Death, which clocks in at a whole 1.316 seconds. Officially holds the record for "shortest song ever".
  • Altered States of America, by Agoraphobic Nosebleed, is an entire Miniscule Album - not one (non-hidden) song reaches the 1-minute mark, unless you count the extra CD included in the re-release. Indeed, there's barely a song in the band's entire discography that doesn't fit this trope.
  • "Foreplay with a Tree Shredder" by Anal Cunt is 51 seconds.


Other Metal

  • Dethklok have the 34-second long hidden track Deththeme.
  • PSA by Nuclear Assault.
  • "Invocation of Apocalyptic Evil" by Dragon Force - 14 seconds of keyboard filler starting off their first album.
  • The Korn album Issues has several songs that are only 1-2 minutes long, including "Dead" (1:12), "4U" (1:42), "It's Gonna Go Away" (1:29), "Am I Going Crazy" (1:00), and "Wish You Could Be Me" (1:07).
    • "Twist" from Life is Peachy is 49 seconds long.
  • The "SGNL" tracks from the Isis album Celestial
  • Most of the tracks from the Fredrik Thorendal's Special Defects album Sol Niger Within are around a minute or two long.
  • The Hidden Track on KMFDM's Nihil.
  • "Death Prank" by Municipal Waste is a mere 11 seconds.
  • "Diamonds and Rust (Extended Version)" from Stormtroopers Of Death is about 4 seconds long and homages Judas Priest's cover of the Joan Baez song "Diamonds and Rust".
  • Sepultura has a lot of these on their albums with Derrick Green. The album Against has 3 songs under 2 minutes. Nation has 'Revolt' and 'Human Cause', which both clock in at just under 1 minute. 'Activist' on Roorback clocks in at just under 2 minutes as well.
  • Of the ten tracks from the Slayer album Reign in Blood, only three are over 3 minutes in length. The shortest, Necrophobic, clocks in at brief 1:40.


Comedy and Fake Bands


Punk

  • "Am I punk Yet?" by the Electro Hippies.
  • Green Day sometimes dip into this, with "Take Back" and "Song of the Century".
    • American Idiot came to be after they decided to turn Miniscule Rocking into Epic Rocking by stitching a few fragmental songs into a suite, "Homecoming".
  • Five Iron Frenzy has a lot of these. The straightest examples were "Shut Up", "I Still Like Larry"[2], and their cover version of Vengeance Rising's "Receive Him". There was also the eight-part "These Are Not My Pants", where all but one part were less than an minute long. Then there are songs that are ridiculously short on the studio albums but longer at live shows (like "When I Go Out" or "Pootermobile"), or vice versa (like "Kingdom of the Dinosaurs").
  • Dead Kennedys have done this at least twice, with "A Child and His Lawnmower" (0:54) and the Lampshade Hanging "Short Songs" (0:20).
  • The Descendents have quite a few songs that are under a minute, but the shortest include "I Like Food" (0:16) and "Weinerschnitzel" (0:10). And then there's "All!" and "No, All!", both of which are five second tracks with one second of music, and have only their title phrases for lyrics.
  • The punk compilation Short Music For Short People is themed around this, and the tracks average out to be around 30 seconds each: It manages to fit 101 songs by 101 different bands on one 48 minute album. Yes, CD's have a maximum of 99 tracks, but they got around this by putting the last three songs all on the same track.
  • Possibly inspired by the Descendents examples above, Darkbuster have "Jerk", "You Jerk", and "You Fucking Jerk": All are under 10 seconds long and have only their respective titles for lyrics. Other incredibly short songs of theirs are "Lenny's A Drunk" (0:07) and "FMGMS" (0:12).
  • "I Say Fuck" by the Supersuckers is a succinct 46 seconds long.
  • Short Attention Span by the Fizzy Bangers.

 Why can’t people understand? I got a short attention span. A short attention span.[3]


Avant Garde

  • The Residents' Commercial Album consists of 40 one-minute songs.


Folk / Folk-Rock

  • Sufjan Stevens' Illinois has a number of brief tracks (with overly-long titles like "A Short Reprise For Mary Todd, Who Went Insane, But For Very Good Reasons" or "One Last 'Whoo-hoo!' For The Pullman") ranging from 8 to 48 seconds long, which basically just serve as a coda for the preceding track. For some of these, you'd have to pay attention to your music player to even notice that they're a separate track.
  • Danielson: The first and last tracks of the double-album Tri-Danielson!!! are 22 seconds long, and just consist of a crowd cheering and shouting the album title.


Soundtracks

  • The Halo 3 soundtrack has "Legend" (0:43, for a small hidden scene after the credits) and the 0:29 "Movement" (which doesn't seem to have any reason for being there).
    • The first game's soundtrack had "Shadows", a 59-second Psycho Strings track that was even shorter in the actual game.
  • A huge number of songs from the Homeworld soundtrack, mostly for the small between-level cutscenes. They actually help hold the soundtrack together as an album rather well.
  • "Vitamin A", "Vitamin B", and "Vitamin C" from the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack were used for eyecatches in the anime and are less than 10 seconds long.


Other

  • "They Got The Mustard Out" from the Buffy Musical Episode
  • Many a reprise in musicals in general.
  • Also, a great many openers and interludes.
  • Skinny Puppy did many minute or less length pieces, such as "Brap" on Remission, "Christianity" on Bites, and "Rain" on Rabies.
  • Short tracks on rap albums are more likely to be skits or interludes, but Ice T's O.G. Original Gangster includes a few songs with actual rapping on them that are under two minutes: "Ziplock" is a minute and 20 seconds, "The House" is 57 seconds, and "Prepared To Die" is 39 seconds of rapid-fire a capella rapping.
  • George Strait's "Heartland", "The Big One", "We Really Shouldn't Be Doing This" and "Don't Make Me Come Over There and Love You" are just over 2 minutes each. They were released in 1993, 1994, 1998 and 2001, respectively, and are both unusually short for any era.
  • Likewise with Tracy Byrd's "Drinkin' Bone" in 2003…
  • and Clint Black's "One More Payment" in 1991…
  • and Garth Brooks' "Longneck Bottle" in 1997…
  • and Joe Nichols' "What's a Guy Gotta Do" in 2005…
  • and Diamond Rio's "Unbelievable" in 1998.

Notes

  1. Which may not count as a "song" because it's just the first few notes of "The Devil's Workday" being used as an intro to the album
  2. which was also rerecorded with different lyrics as "Two Kids in Memphis" and "Never Ask Us to Play This"
  3. That's the whole song.
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