Seven Songs for the Everyday Political Punk

todayMarch 30, 2016 60

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By Ezlyh Gutierrez
Music Reviewer

Lets face it, the system is crazy, out of order and needs our heavy, ear spitting voices to fight it. When our protests and pickets fail, music speaks. People are dying, the world is rotting and we are young, tired and opinionated; it’s a hard life. However, nothing cures the activist burn out like fast and electric drum measures, outspoken lyrics and a good break down.

Rage Against the Machine; Black Flag; The Clash. All of these artists come to mind when we think of head-banging activism. However, these upcoming seven songs will be referencing right here, right now. Staying updated and recent while still maintaining the glorious ’80s to mid-’90s passion that makes this genre so brilliant. Welcome to the world of political punk. Here are a few songs to get you started:

“Pro-Life?” – War on Women (2015)

“You’d rather see women die on the floor
But you can’t be pro-life unless you’re anti-death penalty and anti-war”

War on Women is a feminist, trash-metal punk group that is serious, yet as blistering as ever. Vocalist Shawna Potter gains the inspiration for her material from the pervasive sexism in modern America. This song does its part in expressing her views of the hypocrisy in the “pro-life” movement. The piece of work is fast pace, strong, riot worthy and just plain magical.

“Break in Case of Emergency” – Great Collapse (2015)

“With generations sent to die for illusions of the ruling class
When both sides view the enemy through propaganda, or blasphemy”

Great Collapse is a group from Portland, Oregon influenced by the early ’90s pop-punk era. In “Break in Case of Emergency,” we hear the frustration of how the media portrays the opposing side we fight in war and how it negatively affects our perception of everything. This piece keeps you on the edge of your seat with passionate, powerful lyrics from beginning to end.

“Use Your Voice” – H2O (2015)

“So many wasted lives for things we just don’t need
So many have died for our selfish greed”

H2O has come back with a new single, breaking their silence that has been held since 2011. Front man Toby Morse expresses his frustration on the silence of our generation. “Use Your Voice” is a short, loud and sweet song about the importance of speaking out for yourself and those who do not have a say; a simple, yet critical message.

“I Am a Rifle” – Propagandhi (2015)

“I am a rifle. I am this blockade
I’m banners and violence and car-bombs and riots
I am the fire of a thousand murdered sons”

This song is a cover of Rebel Spell’s original song in memory of Todd Jenkins and is written in the point of view of a rifle in war.

The most powerful moment of this work is a recording of Charlie Chaplin’s famous speech in “The Dictator” speaking to organized soldiers. It is played before the finale of the piece:

“You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. You are not machines, you are not cattle and in the name of democracy, let us use our power, let us all unite!” – Charlie chaplin

“The Left is Right” – Desaparecidos (2015)

“Making a mess when we pitch our tents on the statehouse steps
Now we’re taking it back for the greater good
Goddamn Robin hoods”

The American pop-punk band from Nebraska shows their support for the Occupy’s ninety-nine percent in ‘The Left is Right.’ Frontman Conner Oberst, also known as the vocalist from the indie folk band Bright Eyes, focuses on the debate on socioeconomics and inequality. Throughout the track, there is no doubt that the energy is high and the message is important.

“Brandenburg Gate” – Anti-Flag (2015)

“I lost my baby to a foreign war
She was cut down in the gunfire of the western world”

Anti-Flag collides with Tim Armstrong in ‘Brandenburg gate,’ a love song for socialism. The imagery of Berlin and the Brandenburg Gate is meant to be a metaphor for the idea of socialism being taboo and practically untouched in the United States. Originally, a personal composition from Chris No.2, this piece is designed to have a different and personal effect to the listeners.

“Dry Season” – Good Riddance (2015)

“Behold the scourge of the centuries
Predict a virulent outcome prepare a venomous lie
For dominance the innocent will die”

“Dry Season” draws our attention to how the authority seems to be reducing the west to weakness. If you enjoy the conversation of questioning governance and purpose, this song is a perfect fit for you. Opinionated, complex and thought provoking, this piece puts listeners in a state of bewilderment.

There you have it, a refresher on some new political punk pieces for your playlists. Every song differs in style, purpose and outcomes; just like any political system. Find what suits you and go out there and fight the system, man.

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