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Protest 100: Power Trip – ‘If Not Us Then Who’

Artist:          Power Trip

Song:           If Not Us Then Who

Album:        Nightmare Logic

Producer:    Arthur Rizk

Label:          Southern Lord

Year:           2017

Notes:
If you want change, you must create it. Sometimes it’s just that simple. At the very least you can rest assured nothing’s going to change without some degree of effort.

Riley Gale, Metal Hammer, 2018: “[Current politics] is just making things black and white, and that’s not the way the world operates. It’s not even black, white and grey. It’s hard for people to grasp that it’s a whole spectrum of colors – and that’s not some hippie fucking energy bullshit! People only wanna see it one way or the other, or some people are able to say, ‘Ah, it’s in between’, but really, it’s a million different things, a million perspectives. Reality as someone sees it, and how the masses perceive it and all this stuff, it’s all a very rich tapestry of what people have gone through in their lives to reach that viewpoint and to do all these things, so I think calling it ‘left’ and ‘right’ is so simplistic. I mean, you’re basically saying that our political spectrum should be easier than a standardized test that has four options, right? Like, really? Everything about our political system is just a true or false answer? ‘The left is true, the right is false’? It’s just really simple-minded to me. It’s absolutely ridiculous.”

Excerpt from ‘Unreality’
If not for the warning it would have crashed straight through the back of his head.

Lyrics:
Get up,
Out of your cave and into the fire
Time’s short, this is our last resort
To get through to you, what have I got to do?
Who’s going to be the difference?
If not us,
Then who?
If not us, then who?

Sound off,
Take a look at your life, tell me to what do you aspire?
I want to know how far you’re willing to go
Can’t stop the force of ruin, this world will run through you
If not now, then when?
If not us, then who?
If not us, then who?

 —

‘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: Fever 333 – ‘U Wanted a Fight’

P100 – U Wanted a Fight

Artist:          Fever 333

Song:           U Wanted a Fight

Album:        Wrong Generation

Producer:    Fever 333

Label:          Roadrunner

Year:           2020

Notes:
Brand new music from a band featured earlier in this space following the killing of George Floyd. Frontman Jason Aalon Butler spent 13 days protesting in Los Angeles in the wake of Floyd’s death and began work on ‘Wrong Generation’ immediately afterwards.

Butler says: “This project is art as activism first. I’m talking about what’s happening and what needs to happen. I hope you understand there’s going to be pain in progress. After dismantling and deconstructing all of these things, we can find a beautiful place to be together. For me, this whole EP is that 13 days after 34 years. You fucked with the WRONG GENERATION.”

Excerpt from ‘Unreality’
The government was pleased to have such a powerful ally in its fight against social evils.

Lyrics:
You wanted a fight? Well you got one
You wanted a fight? Well you got one
You wanted a fight? Well you got one
You wanted a fight? Well you got one

Well you got one
Well you got one
Well you got one
Well you got one

No justice
Just us
No justice
Just us
No justice
Just us
Nothing left
But us

Anti racist
These black faces
We all screaming “FTP!”
Power to the people
Take a knee while chanting
“I can’t breathe”

You wanted a fight? Well you got one
You wanted a fight? Well you got one
You wanted a fight? Well you got one
You wanted a fight? Well you got one

Well you got one
Well you got one
You wanted a fight? Well you got one
You wanted a fight? Well you got it

‘Cause you really, really thought that
That we’d go quietly?
That we would take it?

12 the biggest gang in the world
12 the biggest gang in the world
12 the biggest gang in the world
12 the biggest…
Yo, fuck that!

We the biggest gang in the world
We the biggest gang in the world
We the biggest gang in the world
We’re the biggest gang, gang, gang

Who’s the biggest gang in the world?
Who’s the biggest gang in the world?
Who’s the biggest gang in the world?
Who’s the biggest?
333

You wanted a fight? Well you got one
Oh, you wanted a fight? Well you got one
Oh, you wanted a fight? Well you got one
Oh, you wanted a fucking fight?

The game is fixed and the timer hands plead guilty
For centuries we’ve played a losing game
And today we find ourselves on the motherfucking winners’ circle
Take what is yours, get what you deserve
Today. Tomorrow. Forever. This is yours

 —

‘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.

‘Faith Hope Love’ turns 30!

‘Faith Hope Love,’ the album that arguably came closest to breaking King’s X to a mainstream audience, was released 30 years ago today. By early 1991 ‘It’s Love’ was in regular rotation on MTV and the band was booked to tour both the US and Europe as support for AC/DC. Megaforce’s work at radio also finally was starting to pay off, Atlantic taking the foundation they’d built and getting full rock airplay for the band.

Take time to listen to this now-classic record today and read about its creation in ‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick.’

You can also watch a full set of the band’s performance on the road with AC/DC at the end the post.

Excerpt from ‘What You Make It’
King’s X returned to Rampart Studios for ‘Faith Hope Love.’ ‘Moanjam’ was one of the first songs recorded. It was 10 years old and had no words to it. Doug would simply hum the melody. The bass line prompted Doug to refer to it as the band’s “Motorhead song,” while the drum beat lent a gospel tone. Doug’s vocal approach came from the church as well: moaning the melody to a crescendo the way he remembered the singers on Sunday doing when they really wanted to punch things up, then bringing it back down to hook the audience.

When the band decided it should go on the record, Doug felt compelled to add lyrics. Not sure what to write he started with “I want to sing this song for you.” He knew it could be about a person or people but, with the subsequent references to glory, just as easily about God, and ended up penning an unintentional praise chorus.

Protest 100: Megadeth – ‘Symphony of Destruction’

P100 – Symphony of Destruction

Artist:          Megadeth

Song:           Symphony of Destruction

Album:        Countdown to Extinction

Producer:    Max Norman

Label:          Capitol

Year:           1992

Notes:
The powers that be will always pull the strings, which makes choosing the person at the top of pyramid exceptionally important.

Excerpt from ‘Unreality’
Monitoring any number of groups or individuals based on their associations, beliefs, or sympathies became acceptable ‘surveillance.’

Lyrics:
You take a mortal man
And put him in control
Watch him become a god
Watch people’s heads a’roll
A’roll, a’ roll

Just like the Pied Piper
Led rats through the streets
We dance like the marionettes
Swaying to the symphony
Of destruction

Acting like a robot
Its metal brain corrodes
You try to take its pulse
Before the head explodes
Explodes, explodes

Just like the Pied Piper
Led rats through the streets
We dance like marionettes
Swaying to the symphony

Just like the Pied Piper
Led rats through the streets
We dance like marionettes
Swaying to the symphony
Swaying to the symphony
Of destruction

The earth starts to rumble
World powers fall
A’warring for the heavens
A peaceful man stands tall
Tall, tall

Just like the Pied Piper
Led rats through the streets
We dance like marionettes
Swaying to the symphony

Just like the Pied Piper
Led rats through the streets
We dance like marionettes
Swaying to the symphony
Swaying to the symphony
Of destruction

 —

‘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: 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.