Protest 100: Black Sabbath – ‘Children of the Grave’

Artist:          Black Sabbath

Song:           Children of the Grave

Album:        Master of Reality

Producer:    Rodger Bain

Label:          Warner Bros.

Year:           1971

Notes:
Geezer Butler is a pacifist and this song picks up right where ‘War Pigs’ and ‘Electric Funeral’ left off. War is bad. Love is all. And the future is lost if we don’t realize that. Add in some swirling extra percussion and a looped, whispered “Children of the grave…” at the end for spooky effect, and the doom warning is complete. Ozzy also called it “the most kickass song we’d ever recorded,” in his ‘I Am Ozzy’ autobiography. Three nails verses and no chorus will do that!

Lyrics:
Revolution in their minds the children start to march
Against the world in which they have to live
And all the hate that’s in their hearts
They’re tired of being pushed around
And told just what to do
They’ll fight the world until they’ve won
And love comes flowing through, yeah

Children of tomorrow live in the tears that fall today
Will the sun rise up tomorrow bringing peace in any way?
Must the world live in the shadow of atomic fear?
Can they win the fight for peace or will they disappear, yeah

So you children of the world
Listen to what I say
If you want a better place to live in
Spread the words today
Show the world that love is still alive you must be brave
Or you children of today are children of the grave, yeah

‘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: Nuclear Assault – ‘When Freedom Dies’

Artist:          Nuclear Assault

Song:           When Freedom Dies

Album:        Handle With Care

Producer:    Randy Burns

Label:          In-Effect

Year:           1989

Notes:
From the second you see the cover, ‘Handle With Care’ presents itself as the pinnacle of socially conscious thrash metal. And it delivers song after song (‘Critical Mass,’ ‘Search & Seizure,’ ‘Torture Tactics’) of supercharged condemnation, with catchy riffs almost everywhere. Police repression, environmental destruction, the balance between freedom and security, fascism, and abuse of authority all take a beating before the journey’s over.

Excerpt from ‘Unreality’  —
“The 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 larger than 100 people 16-years of age or older had to first register the event and then accept criminal liability for any misdeeds.”

.”

Lyrics:
United in a time, a time of need
Against a common foe, the enemy
The years of death endured, the years of pain
Against an evil force, a force not sane

We become the enemy
When freedom dies for security

And then the world endured, a victory won
Against an insane man and his cohorts
But once the war was done, blind fear prevailed
And years of darkness came, freedom was nailed

We become the enemy
When freedom dies for security

We let our freedom die, we let it wane
We feared an enemy’s atomic rain
But what was on our minds, what we became
We and the enemy
We are the same

We become the enemy
When freedom dies for security
We become the enemy
When freedom dies for security

‘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: Iron Reagan – ‘Cycle of Violence’

Artist:          Iron Reagan

Song:           Cycle of Violence

Album:        Worse Than Dead

Producer:    Phil Hall

Label:          A389

Year:           2013

Notes:

Iron Reagan (yes, it’s the pun you assume) is a crossover thrash supergroup from Richmond, Va., featuring members of Municipal Waste, Darkest Hour, and Cannabis Corpse. It kept some of Municipal Waste’s humor but added sincere political commentary. ‘Cycle of Violence’ addresses the increased ease with which public protests can descend into chaos.

Excerpt from ‘Unreality’ (now seeking publisher!) –
“Cookie had meant to ask the Captain about what seemed like an endless supply of drugs onboard and if it might be playing a role in the crew’s deepening cycles of lethargy and violence.”

Lyrics:

Mandating slaughter of public views
Dictatorship prevails, rioting ensues
Just don’t ask questions, censor the news
These are all the attributes in the

Cycle of violence

Our peoples’ voices protest our rights
Deteriorating promise truth burns in the fight
Don’t try to stop us, it’s in our sights
And this just fuels the hate and spite in the

Cycle of violence

It’s a cycle of violence
The cycle will never end

‘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: Guns n’ Roses – ‘Civil War’

 

Artist:          Guns n’ Roses

Song:           Civil War

Album:        Use Your Illusion II (1991)

Producer:    Mike Clink

Label:          Geffen

Year:           1990 (‘Nobody’s Child: Romanian Angel Appeal),

Notes:

Not only is this an actual anti-war song written by what at the time was the most dangerous band in the world, its lyrics are infused with first-hand civil rights movement experience. Vocalist W. Axl Rose penned most of the words, but bassist Duff McKagan contributed the line “Did you wear the black arm band when they shot the man who said: ‘Peace could last forever’?” based on going to a march as a young child with his mom in remembrance of Martin Luther King.’ The song, appropriately enough given the times, was reintroduced as a staple of Guns n’ Roses’ live set in 2019.

Excerpt from ‘Unreality’ (now seeking publisher!) –
“This compromise was sold to the civil libertarians as bringing the bogeyman out of the closet and to hawkish right-wingers as more effective law enforcement.”

Lyrics:

Look at your young men fighting
Look at your women crying
Look at your young men dying
The way they’ve always done before

Look at the hate we’re breeding
Look at the fear we’re feeding
Look at the lives we’re leading
The way we’ve always done before

My hands are tied
The billions shift from side to side
And the wars go on with brainwashed pride
For the love of God and our human rights
And all these things are swept aside
By bloody hands time can’t deny
And are washed away by your genocide
And history hides the lies of our civil wars

D’you wear a black armband
When they shot the man
Who said “peace could last forever”
And in my first memories
They shot Kennedy
I went numb when I learned to see
So I never fell for Vietnam
We got the wall of D.C. to remind us all
That you can’t trust freedom
When it’s not in your hands
When everybody’s fightin’
For their promised land
And

I don’t need your civil war
It feeds the rich while it buries the poor
Your power hungry sellin’ soldiers
In a human grocery store
Ain’t that fresh
I don’t need your civil war
Ow, oh no, no, no, no, no

Look at the shoes you’re filling
Look at the blood we’re spilling
Look at the world we’re killing
The way we’ve always done before
Look in the doubt we’ve wallowed
Look at the leaders we’ve followed
Look at the lies we’ve swallowed
And I don’t want to hear no more

My hands are tied
For all I’ve seen has changed my mind
But still the wars go on as the years go by
With no love of God or human rights
‘Cause all these dreams are swept aside
By bloody hands of the hypnotized
Who carry the cross of homicide
And history bears the scars of our civil wars

I don’t need your civil war
It feeds the rich while it buries the poor
Your power hungry sellin’ soldiers
In a human grocery store
Ain’t that fresh
I don’t need your civil war
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no
I don’t need your civil war
I don’t need your civil war
Your power hungry sellin’ soldiers
In a human grocery store
Ain’t that fresh
I don’t need your civil war
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no uh-oh-uh, no uh-oh, uh no
I don’t need one more war

I don’t need one more war
No, no, no, no uh-oh-uh, no uh-oh, uh no
Whaz so civil ’bout war anyway?

‘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: Sacred Reich – ‘The American Way’

Artist:          Sacred Reich

Song:           The American Way

Album:        The American Way

Producer:    Bill Metoyer

Label:          Metal Blade

Year:           1990

Notes:

Straight into the deep end! Sacred Reich bassist and main songwriter Phil Rind has a wide social justice streak in both his craft and in general and brought it to the fore with his band’s second full-length album, ‘The American Way.’ The record is one of most overtly political thrash releases ever and stacks up with the very best musically as well.

Excerpt from ‘Unreality’ (now seeking publisher!) –
“All the reactionary freaks in the American Civil Liberties Union and associated organizations had ended up being right. Freedom had been traded for security.”

Lyrics:

Truth and honor, faith and pride
All conviction’s surely died
Honesty’s time has passed
Time for lies is here at last

Truth is false, I’m so fed up
How did we come to be so fucked
Hate, fear, pain, death
All our country has got left

Talk to children hear them say
Daddy left again today
Brother steals and mommy lies
Future lost before their eyes

The sun was lost behind the clouds
They wrapped it up and blacked it out
Acid rain fell today
It came and washed our hopes away

This was once the land of dreams
Now these dreams have turned to greed
In the midst of all this wealth
The poor are left to help themselves

A capitalist’s democracy
Why no one said that freedom’s free
Lady liberty rots away
No truth, no justice, the American way

Don’t look past your TV
All of us are what you see
A looking glass into our lives
What we watch is what we buy

Priorities are out of whack
Who is next to stab our back
Doesn’t it make you mad
To have lost all that we’ve had

This was once the land of dreams
Now these dreams have turned to greed
In the midst of all this wealth
The poor are left to help themselves

A capitalist’s democracy
Why no one said that freedom’s free
Lady liberty rots away
No truth, no justice, the American way

Doesn’t it fill you with disgust
That there’s no one left to trust
Is this happening, is this real
My body numb, I cannot feel

Are you happy? Are you sad?
Are emotions a thing of the past
I have no tears, I cannot cry
No one mourns for a world that’s died

This was once the land of dreams
Now these dreams have turned to greed
In the midst of all this wealth
The poor are left to help themselves

A capitalist’s democracy
Why no one said that freedom’s free
Lady liberty rots away
No truth, no justice, the American way

‘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.

Ultraphonix – ‘Walk Run Crawl’

George Lynch and Corey Glover are both icons of the rock and metal worlds. And, lucky us, they’ve got new music out. Together! Ultraphonix—a four-piece featuring Lynch, Glover, drummer Chris Moore and bassist Pancho Tomaselli—have released a video for their first song ‘Walk Run Crawl,’ taken from debut album ‘Original Human Music’ out Aug. 3.

You can read more about the band and preorder the album here. The video is below.

This is vital, catchy hard rock, picking up where Lynch left off in KXM (he just keeps getting better) and featuring an inspired and important lyric.

Speaking of KXM, both Lynch and Glover appear multiple times in ‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick’ available for preorder on Kindle NOW, with hard copies out June 8.

 

Pre-order ‘What You Make It’ NOW!

I am very excited to announce that ‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick’ is available for pre-order on Kindle NOW with a June 8 release date.

Examples of hard rock musicians who’ve appealed to multiple generations are pleasantly frequent. Examples of such musicians who simultaneously straddle the black and white worlds, the gay and straight worlds, and the Christian and secular worlds are much less so.

Doug (dUg) Pinnick—bassist, vocalist, songwriter, frontman, and focal point of King’s X—is that rare musician. His story is equal parts rock n’ roll survival and personal evolution. Sometimes these paths support one another, more often they clash. Their ultimate resolution is not just Doug’s story, or a musician’s story, it is a universally human story.

Telling Doug’s tale requires also telling that of King’s X, and “What You Make It” goes further into the details of this beloved band’s evolution than any work so far.

PRE-ORDER here now!

 

Note: Pre-order is available for Kindle eBook ONLY. Hard copies will be available for purchase on Amazon.com starting June 8.

 

Power Trip. Inspiration.

As I get ready to release ‘What You Make It’ I’ve been contemplating influences, both old and new.

Among the latter is Power Trip.

They’ve been my favorite band since first seeing them at Fitzgerald’s here in Houston back in 2012. I hadn’t felt a room that charged in a long time. And when Power Trip hit the stage the place went off, danger mixed with the brotherhood of metal. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it out unscarred, but I also didn’t care.

Since then, they’ve done nothing but impress.* Yes, as a live act. And yes, on record. ‘Nightmare Logic’ deserved every accolade it received. It is the rightful benchmark of metal today. But they’ve also remained accessible to their fans (young and old!) at shows and have one of the realest social media presences going. Promotion? Absolutely, but not hype. It’s a conversation. And it’s welcoming. No macho posturing. But also not for the dimwitted, or the troll-minded, or those without a sense of humor.

The way they take care of their business is the way I aspire to take care of mine. I’ve got a long way to go. But, hey…goals, ya know?

At the heart of everything remains the music. And as good as their recordings have been, Power Trip’s forte is the stage.

I’ve attached one of my favorite live recordings of any band, anywhere, ever. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve watch this clip. But I feel another two or three coming on today.

Power Trip is in Europe opening for Trivium and kick off a North American headlining tour next month.

*Full disclosure: I’ve felt weird about this band exactly once, while watching a recording of their performance at last year’s Golden Gods awards. They were fine. But (at least on video) the sound was thin and the overall effect was like seeing a shark at the aquarium versus accidentally pulling the same fish into your boat and not knowing where the fuck your grappling hook went.