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Protest 100: Napalm Death – ‘When All Is Said and Done’

Artist:          Napalm Death

Song:           When All Is Said and Done

Album:        Smear Campaign

Producer:    Russ Russell

Label:          Century Media

Year:           2006

Notes:
People can believe (and even practice) both religion and science. The choice to shun either is conscious, as is the choice to shun those who adhere solely to one or the other. The divide isn’t real. We’re all here together and can either spend our time vexing one another or acting for one another’s benefit. But first we must make the effort to see beyond ourselves.

Excerpt from ‘Unreality’
It was an age-old maneuver: when addressing a group of angry halfwits, ask questions leading to some more-generalized inflammatory point than whatever brought you to their attention.

Lyrics:
Blindness feeds the world to madness
Faith’s crumbling, there’s no doubt about it
Religion and science fighting a new kind of war

Helpless – wander the streets in desperation
Fearless – to the path they tread
Shameless – the powers that butcher
Ignorant to the deeds that they commit

When all is said and done
Heaven lies in my heart
No slave to beliefs that propagate pain
When all is said and done
Heaven lies in our hearts
This life is a gift to be lived and loved

Fracturing the structure of nature
Iconic catalysts to slaughter
A stalemate bursting bound by contradictions

Heartless – divine blueprints of hatred
Selfless – Diseased masterplans
Shameless – the powers that butcher
Ignorant to the deeds that they commit

Decoded treachery shielding the tyranny
Black Bible tyrants behind masks of righteousness
Relentless – the onslaught of misunderstanding
Descending into a unified chaos

One more chance for a shot at redemption
Lost within, can we summon the might?

 —

‘Protest 100’s mission is two-fold: dispelling the myth that heavy metal is a brainless, socially unaware music genre, and raising awareness of the issues facing our country in the Nov. 3, 2020 election. The path won’t be exclusively metal—some punk and rap and other stuff will be in here too, including the classics—and is not a ranking. All songs are songs I’ve heard while putting this list together, ordered in a manner designed to entertain and educate.

Protest 100: Power Trip – ‘Power Trip’

Artist:          Power Trip

Song:           Power Trip

Album:        Manifest Decimation

Producer:     Arthur Rizk

Label:          Southern Lord

Year:           2013

Notes:
These are perilous times. Lines have been drawn. Even if you haven’t drawn them, others are more than willing to let you know which side you’re on, often fueled by fabricated information. Their lies, your life. Your mind, not mine.

Riley Gale, Aug. 27, 2018 (Revolver): “This band was born out of the frustration that I was dealing with going into college in a time where we were involved in two wars. I’m sitting there going, ‘I’m going to see some fucked-up shit. I’m going to see something that 9/11 will pale in comparison to.’ I don’t know if it’s World War III. I don’t know if it’s some kind of food epidemic. I have this sense of impending doom — not that the human race will be wiped out, but it’s going to completely shift the status quo. It’s gonna make me being in a band completely irrelevant. It may turn it into a fight for survival. Who knows?”

Excerpt from ‘Unreality’
The solution as Rusty saw it was for the networks to re-empower the people. A wrong had been committed, justice must be done.

Lyrics:
Buy into the bullshit with your head as the price
The system is broken what choice can you make?
Pick up a gun, or catch some fucking chains

We ride as one
We’re ruled by none
As long as I’m free I’ll live illegally
Smoke and mirrors until they catch me
We ride as one
We’re ruled by none
Their lies, your life
Your mind, not mine

Earth’s moral compass pointed south
Forever broken, the good cast out
Join or die; there is only two sides to take:
The rebel evil or the police state

We ride as one
We’re ruled by none
As long as I’m free I’ll live illegally
Smoke and mirrors until they catch me
We ride as one
We’re ruled by none
Their lies, your life
Your mind, not mine
Not mine

Perennial paranoia:
A paradox for every thought
But the endless chase is better than being left to rot
Pride and fear has brought us here
A catalyst to an endless abyss
Every toe-tag; a price tag
I pledge deviance from under the flag

Their lies, your life
Your mind, not mine

 —

‘Protest 100’s mission is two-fold: dispelling the myth that heavy metal is a brainless, socially unaware music genre, and raising awareness of the issues facing our country in the Nov. 3, 2020 election. The path won’t be exclusively metal—some punk and rap and other stuff will be in here too, including the classics—and is not a ranking. All songs are songs I’ve heard while putting this list together, ordered in a manner designed to entertain and educate.

Protest 100: The Clash – ‘Clampdown’

Artist:          The Clash

Song:           Clampdown

Album:        London Calling

Producer:    Guy Stevens

Label:          CBS

Year:           1979

Notes:
Problems and solutions are presented in an increasingly binary manner. Us or them. Freedom or security. Socialist or fascist. Red or blue. This is not just a gross over simplification of existence; it’s a trap, set by those in control to maintain the status quo. It’s not even true that you must either be a revolutionary or work for the clampdown. But finding the middle ground and building your own world within it requires effort. Lose focus and the machine will swallow you.

Excerpt from ‘Unreality’
Sarge’s main dilemma was what he’d find on the other side of the door.

Lyrics:
The kingdom is ransacked
The jewels all taken back
And the chopper descends
They’re hidden in the back
With a message written on a half-baked potato
The spool goes ’round
Sayin’ I’m back here in this place
And I could cry
And there’s smoke you could click on

What are we gonna do now?

Taking off his turban, they said, “is this man a Jew?”
‘Cause they’re working for the clampdown
They put up a poster saying: “We earn more than you
We’re working for the clampdown
We will teach our twisted speech
To the young believers
We will train our blue-eyed men
To be young believers”

The judge said, five to ten, but I say double that again
I’m not working for the clampdown
No man born with a living soul
Can be working for the clampdown
Kick over the wall ’cause government’s to fall
How can you refuse it?
Let fury have the hour, anger can be power
Do you know that you can use it?

The voices in your head are calling
Stop wasting your time, there’s nothing coming
Only a fool would think someone could save you
The men at the factory are old and cunning
You don’t owe nothing, boy, get runnin’
It’s the best years of your life they want to steal

But you grow up and you calm down
And working for the clampdown
You start wearing blue and brown
You’re working for the clampdown
So you got someone to boss around
It make you feel big now
You drift until you brutalize
Make your first kill now

In these days of evil Presidentes
Working for the clampdown
But lately one or two has fully paid their due
For working for the clampdown
Ha! Get along! Get along! (working for the clampdown)
Ha! Get along! Get along! (working for the clampdown)

Yeah, I’m working hard in Harrisburg
Working hard in Petersburg
Working for the clampdown
Working for the clampdown
Ha! Get along! Get along!
Beggin’ to be melted down

Work, work, work
And I’ll give away no secrets
Work, work, more work, more work
Work, work, work, work, work

Who’s barmy now?

 —

‘Protest 100’s mission is two-fold: dispelling the myth that heavy metal is a brainless, socially unaware music genre, and raising awareness of the issues facing our country in the Nov. 3, 2020 election. The path won’t be exclusively metal—some punk and rap and other stuff will be in here too, including the classics—and is not a ranking. All songs are songs I’ve heard while putting this list together, ordered in a manner designed to entertain and educate.

Protest 100: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – ‘Ohio’

Artist:          Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Song:           Ohio

Album:        So Far (1974, greatest hits)

Producer:    Bill Halverson

Label:          Atlantic

Year:           1970

Notes:
The Ohio National Guard opened fire on a crowd of students protesting the Vietnam War on the campus of Kent State University, May 4, 1970. The more than 60 rounds discharged killed four, paralyzed one, and left eight others wounded. Neil Young wrote ‘Ohio’ after seeing images of the scene in the next issue of Life magazine. It was recorded live on May 21, 1970, and released in June, despite the Graham Nash-penned ‘Teach Your Children’ (itself only released that May) still climbing the charts.

Pop-culture historian and journalist David Bianculli told The Cleveland (Ohio) Plain Dealer in 2010: “It was the quickest and best reaction to Kent State, with Neil Young acting as 50% songwriter and 50% journalist. And nobody stopped to think, ‘What will this do to our other hit? What will this do to our image? What will the advertisers think?’ They just thought, ‘This is important and needs to be on the air.’”

Bianculli continued: “After the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, you felt kind of helpless as a young person. It seemed that when someone had your voice, that voice was silenced, usually by violence. Then you have Kent State, and college kids are actually fired upon. And when you just might start to be thinking, you don’t dare have a voice or there is no voice, from the radio comes this voice of solidarity and outrage. It wasn’t just a pop song.”

A live version of ‘Ohio’ was released on 1971’s ‘4 Way Street.’ You can hear it at the end of the post.

Excerpt from ‘Unreality’  —
Oklahoma statute no longer prohibited such an establishment. But Johnson had been around the block enough times to realize that one of two things would seal the place’s fate: the busybodies would rise from their couches to close any legal loopholes, or some fool would shoot himself or somebody else.

Lyrics:
Tin soldiers and Nixon’s coming
We’re finally on our own
This summer I hear the drumming
Four dead in Ohio

Gotta get down to it
Soldiers are cutting us down
Should have been done long ago
What if you knew her
And found her dead on the ground?
How can you run when you know?

Gotta get down to it
Soldiers are cutting us down
Should have been done long ago
What if you knew her
And found her dead on the ground
How can you run when you know?

Tin soldiers and Nixon’s coming
We’re finally on our own
This summer I hear the drumming
Four dead in Ohio
Four dead in Ohio (four dead)
Four dead in Ohio (four)
Four dead in Ohio
Four dead in Ohio (how many more?)
Four dead in Ohio (why?)
Four dead in Ohio (oh)
Four dead in Ohio (oh)
Four dead in Ohio (why?)
Four dead in Ohio (why?)
Four dead in Ohio (why?)
Four dead in Ohio

 —

‘Protest 100’s mission is two-fold: dispelling the myth that heavy metal is a brainless, socially unaware music genre, and raising awareness of the issues facing our country in the Nov. 3, 2020 election. The path won’t be exclusively metal—some punk and rap and other stuff will be in here too, including the classics—and is not a ranking. All songs are songs I’ve heard while putting this list together, ordered in a manner designed to entertain and educate.

Protest 100: The Beatles – ‘Revolution’

Artist:          The Beatles

Song:           Revolution 1

Album:        The Beatles (White Album)

Producer:    George Martin

Label:          Apple

Year:           1968

Notes:
John Lennon wrote the lyrics to ‘Revolution 1’ as both a call for social change and a cautionary screed regarding how it should be achieved. He got predictable blowback from both the right and left as a result; the right didn’t appreciate the call to revolution, the left accused him of selling them out.

The song was initially released Aug. 26, 1968, as the b-side of the ‘Hey Jude’ single. This version of the song was a remake of the version already recorded for the self-titled White Album (released Nov. 22, 1968), which you can hear at the bottom of the post.

Excerpt from ‘Unreality’  —
A nickel Colt Diamondback .38-Special revolver rested in his lap as he addressed Cookie.

Lyrics:
You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world

But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know that you can count me out

Don’t you know it’s gonna be
All right, all right, all right

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We’d all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know
We’re doing what we can

But if you want money for people with minds that hate
All I can tell is brother you have to wait

Don’t you know it’s gonna be
All right, all right, all right

You say you’ll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it’s the institution
Well, you know
You better free you mind instead

But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow

Don’t you know it’s gonna be
All right, all right, all right
All right, all right, all right
All right, all right, all right
All right, all right

 —

‘Protest 100’s mission is two-fold: dispelling the myth that heavy metal is a brainless, socially unaware music genre, and raising awareness of the issues facing our country in the Nov. 3, 2020 election. The path won’t be exclusively metal—some punk and rap and other stuff will be in here too, including the classics—and is not a ranking. All songs are songs I’ve heard while putting this list together, ordered in a manner designed to entertain and educate.

Protest 100: Buffalo Springfield – ‘For What It’s Worth’

Artist:          Buffalo Springfield

Song:           For What It’s Worth

Album:        Buffalo Springfield (1967)

Producer:    Charles Greene, Brian Stone

Label:          Atco

Year:           1966

Notes:
It’s time for some classics. Though adopted as an anti-Vietnam War anthem and general protest song, ‘For What It’s Worth’ was inspired by police reaction to demonstrations against a curfew imposed on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip in November 1966. Residents didn’t like young people gathering outside the strip’s clubs and venues. Young people liked doing so. Jack Nicholson and Peter Fonda were among the demonstrators.

Stephen Still wrote this song that November. The band recorded it Dec. 5. Atco released it as a single (b/w ‘Do I Have to Come Right Out and Say It?’) on Dec. 23. It was subsequently added to the second pressing of Buffalo Springfield’s self-titled debut, issued Mar. 6, 1967. Despite the narrow context of its creation, ‘For What It’s Worth’s lyrics sound like they could have been written for the current day.

Check the bottom of the post for a couple of high-quality live versions: one from back in the day, one a cover by some devoted fans.

Excerpt from ‘Unreality’  —
It seemed like impossibly hard work, and for what?

Lyrics:
There’s somethin’ happenin’ here
But what it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
A-tellin’ me I got to beware

I think it’s time we stop
Children, what’s that sound?
Everybody look what’s going down

There’s battle lines being drawn
And nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speakin’ their minds
A-gettin’ so much resistance from behind

I think it’s time we stop
Hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look what’s going down

What a field day for the heat (ooh-ooh-ooh)
A thousand people in the street (ooh-ooh-ooh)
Singin’ songs and a-carryin’ signs (ooh-ooh-ooh)
Mostly say “Hooray for our side” (ooh-ooh-ooh)

It’s time we stop
Hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look what’s going down

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
You step out of line
The man come and take you away

We better stop, hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look what’s going down

Stop, hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look what’s going down (we better)

Stop, now, what’s that sound?
Everybody look what’s going down (we better)

Stop, children, what’s that sound?
Everybody look what’s going down

 —

‘Protest 100’s mission is two-fold: dispelling the myth that heavy metal is a brainless, socially unaware music genre, and raising awareness of the issues facing our country in the Nov. 3, 2020 election. The path won’t be exclusively metal—some punk and rap and other stuff will be in here too, including the classics—and is not a ranking. All songs are songs I’ve heard while putting this list together, ordered in a manner designed to entertain and educate.

Protest 100: Tree – ‘Freedom Rock’

Artist:          Tree

Song:           Freedom Rock

Album:        Plant A Tree or Die

Producer:    Don Muscatelli

Label:          CherryDisc

Year:           1995

Notes:
Enviro-core! Boston-based Tree made saving the Earth its main mission. But the group also kept an eye on other aspects of life in America, in this instance conjuring the ol’ “love it or leave it” trope to wonder how it is our leaders can lie with impunity while the rich get richer off the people’s backs. Maybe there’s a connection.

Excerpt from ‘Unreality’  —
Freedom of assembly on the part of the nation’s youth was legislated against to the extent that any person wishing to host a group bigger than 100 people 16-years or older had to first register the event and then accept criminal liability for any misdeeds.

Lyrics:
Love it or leave it that’s what they say
Love it or leave it the American way

I love this country I love this land
But tolerance for liars I won’t stand
Not a ring of truth in the political lies
The rich get richer while the innocent die

Love it or leave it that’s what they say
Change it, believe it
It could happen today

If our founding fathers were alive today
They’d all be rounded up and be locked away
Stripped of all the rights that they created
And everything they own would be confiscated

Love it or leave it that’s what they say
Change it believe it
It could happen today

FOR THE PEOPLE BY THE PEOPLE
ALL OF US CREATED EQUAL
RISE!!

‘Protest 100’s mission is two-fold: dispelling the myth that heavy metal is a brainless, socially unaware music genre, and raising awareness of the issues facing our country in the Nov. 3, 2020 election. The path won’t be exclusively metal—some punk and rap and other stuff will be in here too, including the classics—and is not a ranking. All songs are songs I’ve heard while putting this list together, ordered in a manner designed to entertain and educate.

Protest 100: Pro-Pain – ‘Contents Under Pressure’

Artist:          Pro-Pain

Song:           Contents Under Pressure

Album:        Contents Under Pressure

Producer:    Pro-Pain

Label:          Energy/Concrete

Year:           1996

Notes:
Formed from the remnants of Crumbsuckers, Pro-Pain made its intentions clear by titling their debut album ‘Foul Taste of Freedom.’ By the time ‘Contents Under Pressure’ was released four years later (with ‘The Truth Hurts’ in between), the needle hadn’t moved much. The central question posed by the title track remains relevant today given how en vogue it is to paint millennials as some sort of lazy, entitled, resource-draining plague on the country: Who made us this way? We didn’t create ourselves. And if we did, it’s even more on you olds.

Excerpt from ‘Unreality’ —
Doug rejoined the circle in the sand, placed his frisbee in his lap, and dumped the contents of his baggie into it.

Lyrics:
This court is in session
So stand erect
The case persecution
Of generation X

A taste of pollution
To make you choke
En masse execution
Behind the smoke

Discarded and thrown by the wayside
Endorse this punishable act
Blame us if we are what you made us
Die slowly but leave us intact

They buried the treasure
And burned the map
They cut down the trees
And drank the sap

The earth is a prison
With nowhere to go
Contents under pressure
It’s bound to blow

‘Protest 100’s mission is two-fold: dispelling the myth that heavy metal is a brainless, socially unaware music genre, and raising awareness of the issues facing our country in the Nov. 3, 2020 election. The path won’t be exclusively metal—some punk and rap and other stuff will be in here too, including the classics—and is not a ranking. All songs are songs I’ve heard while putting this list together, ordered in a manner designed to entertain and educate.

Protest 100: Bad Brains – ‘Rock for Light’

Artist:          Bad Brains

Song:           Rock for Light

Album:        Rock for Light

Producer:    Ric Ocasek

Label:          Passport

Year:           1983

Notes:
All you need is love. And peace. And the absence of war and violence. We might have gotten used to the presence of the last two, but we can leave better for our kids. The fact that Cars vocalist and songwriter Ric Ocasek took time between ‘Shake It Up’ and ‘Heartbeat City’ to produce this album still fascinates me. 

Excerpt from ‘Unreality’  —
As an adolescent he’d partner with adults running pigeon drops and lookie loos and rocks in a box, interjecting as the sympathetic third-party to sink the hook in further.

Lyrics:
So you say you gonna live the truth
Well have you checked out the future of the youth
Doesn’t seem to be much left for them
But there is an answer for all of Jah Children

We don’t want no wars
We don’t need no violence
We just want what’s right
Some peace and love
We don’t want no violence
We don’t need no wars
We just want what’s right
Rock for light
Rock for light
Rock for light
Rock for light
Rock for light
Rock for light

We come
We come to rock for light
We come
We come to rock for light
We come
We come to rock for light

‘Protest 100’s mission is two-fold: dispelling the myth that heavy metal is a brainless, socially unaware music genre, and raising awareness of the issues facing our country in the Nov. 3, 2020 election. The path won’t be exclusively metal—some punk and rap and other stuff will be in here too, including the classics—and is not a ranking. All songs are songs I’ve heard while putting this list together, ordered in a manner designed to entertain and educate.

Protest 100: Power Trip – ‘Divine Apprehension’

P100 – Divine Apprehension

Artist:          Power Trip

Song:           Divine Apprehension

Album:        Opening Fire: 2008-14

Producer:    Arthur Rizk

Label:          Dark Operative

Year:           2018

Notes:
This song is the first track (with ‘Suffer No Fool’ and a cover of Prong’s ‘Brainwave’) on Power Trip’s self-titled 7”, released Dec. 30, 2011, through Lockin’ Out Records. It was rereleased in 2018 as part of the bands ‘Opening Fire: 2008-14’ compilation.

In 2013 vocalist Riley Gale told The Quietus that “songs like ‘Hammer of Doubt’, ‘Divine Apprehension,’ and others, often at times boil down to ‘You think you know how it is, but you really have no idea’ – plenty of songs about war and our demise at our own hands. But ultimately, I just want to write songs that make people think about something in a way they may not have thought of before.” RIP Riley.

Excerpt from ‘Unreality’  —
The entire circle would be made whole again; rival schools trying to outdo each other rather than facing a common problem together.

Lyrics:

It’s a fine line between faith and ignorance
You cross that line and then you piss all over it
You sell salvation, infested with corruption and lies
Faith-healer, just a madman sickening minds
Idealism as an illness and it must be erased
When all humanity is at stake
Beyond all your greatest efforts
Modern horrors untold
Divine apprehension persists against its greatest foes
(Let’s go)

Pummel fear into the defenseless
Weaken the mind into something senseless
Say it empowers but they become more helpless
And with that power they become more reckless

You see your vision of the truth is so narrow, you’re blind
Soothsayer, just a madman spreading lies
I watch you tremble as the cracks in your foundation break
From the rot of souls’ decay

Divine apprehension resists against the greater force

Orthodox, obliterate
Evangelist, eliminate
Demagogue, I decimate     

‘Protest 100’s mission is two-fold: dispelling the myth that heavy metal is a brainless, socially unaware music genre, and raising awareness of the issues facing our country in the Nov. 3, 2020 election. The path won’t be exclusively metal—some punk and rap and other stuff will be in here too, including the classics—and is not a ranking. All songs are songs I’ve heard while putting this list together, ordered in a manner designed to entertain and educate.