Malcolm Gladwell introduced the concept of snap decision-making in his book Blink. He wrote about experts being able to size up a situation (be it a failing relationship or the likelihood of a new product to succeed) in a few seconds, based on unconscious analysis that even the experts couldn't understand.
I think that I experience "blink" moments with music every now and then. There are times when, within five seconds of a song starting up, I can tell that it's something special. The last time it happened was with the Seeger Sessions album, and it happened again recently when I read some online recommendations of local bands. One of the suggested groups was San Diego's Grand Ole Party.
Most MySpace pages play a song for you automatically when they load. This is usually an annoyance, but in the case of Grand Ole Party, it works as a hook. Both of the songs on the page, "Insane" and "Look Out Young Son," result in the rarest of MySpace page phenomena: seeking out the "volume up" button rather than looking for the mute button with the purpose of someone looking for the abort button as a bomb ticks down its final seconds.
Both songs slink and lurch along, featuring sleazy and dirty guitar and drums. The music sounds sort of like the rawness of early White Stripes -- like "Jimmy the Exploder" played with the slow back-alley coolness of Tom Waits at his most mysterious. But the hook is the singer, who is also the drummer, who is also a lady who can wail like Cassandra from Crucial Taunt (watched Wayne's World last weekend...that chick can sing). This band sounds as if it's destined to get signed. (from SanDiegoSerenade.com)