While She Sleeps – ‘You are We’
In 2016: While She Sleeps have backtracked, learned from their mistakes and are coming back with back-breaking force.
‘You Are We’ follows the bog-standard recipe for a metalcore song, but what makes this track stand out above the others is how articulately the track plays out. The track quickly bursts, into life with heavy riffs and a strong cocktail of gang vocals, sleek cleans and raspy screams. It’s refreshing to hear While She Sleeps in a revived state, the music has a huge sense of passion again.
Words by Sam Taylor @phantxmfear
Matrix and Futurebound – ‘The Wall’
Following Donald Trump’s inauguration speech, Matrix and Futurebound have treated fans to a sampled spoof about his plans of building a wall. The drum and bass duo have turned politics on its side with this one, giving the public something to be amused about, in a period of crisis.
Trump is quoted within the song saying that “we need to build a wall … a big beautiful wall”, big and beautiful are two words that can be used to describe the drop within this track.
Harvey Baldwin @HarvBald
United Nations – ‘Stairway to Mar-a-Lago’
Powerviolence outfit United Nations are renowned for their ferocious intensity and politically-charged lyrics, so with the recent inauguration of Donald Trump, perhaps it’s no surprise that the supergroup have cropped up with a new single.
Opening up with a gleamingly reverberated guitar harmony, ‘Mar-a-Lago’ rapidly descends headfirst into a flurry of blast beats and metallic riffs. The track’s clumsy production style unfortunately means that each layer of instrumentation becomes submerged in a muddy cluster of pure noise; however, the ear-shattering frenzy unleashed by the band’s new, anonymous vocalist underpins the song, ensuring that United Nations offer a solid addition to their catalogue.
Words by Lewis Edwards
Lady Antebellum-‘You Look So Good’
After a two-year hiatus, the loveable country three-piece are back with a track that can only be described as a mixture between country and pop that is your typical country lyrics about beer and ‘bringing your body back with me tonight’.
The track has an addictive drum beat and clever use of the saxophone, however the lyrics are too predictable for a band who are experimenting with their music. They may look good, but Lady Antebellum are losing their touch.
Words by Josh Abrham
Gorillaz – ‘Hallelujah Money’ ft. Benjamin Clementine
Arcade Fire – ‘I Give You Power’ ft. Marvis Staples
If you’ve listened to any new music recently, you’ve probably noticed that anti-Trump songs are, to paraphrase Modest Mouse on opinions, being given away like kittens. You may also have noticed that unlike Modest Mouse in this scenario, many of them don’t have a lot to say.
Both Gorillaz and Arcade Fire have taken the inauguration as an opportunity to drop their first singles in anticipation of their new albums due this year, both combining fairly tasteful and restrained electronica with a impressive and creative choice of vocal feature: Benjamin Clementine’s crooning and spoken word and American soul singer Marvis Staples respectively.
Both tracks are musically solid, exploring interesting textures with excellent production, but neither especially feels like an obvious first single compared with either band’s previous hits. Where they really differ in quality is the lyrics. Where ‘Hallelujah Money’ impersonates many Republican arguments in a chillingly heartless manner (“it is love that is the root of all evil”) to great effect, ‘I Give You the Power’ doesn’t sound so any more like a protest track than any other vaguely political song written at any time, by any teenager (“I give you power / I can take it away”, etc. etc.). It’s not bad, but for a song dying to be received as a political statement, it offers about as much food for thought as Nickelback’s ‘When We Stand Together’.
Arcade Fire: 6
Words by Joe Gilbertson @beekeepxr
J Cole -‘High For Hours’
It’s no surprise J Cole went platinum twice with no features, he spits bars of truth for all socio demographics to relate too. High for hours is the rappers latest work of art, lyrically decimating the tragedies faced worldwide, J Coles paves room for your identified thoughts to be heard, it’s the thoughtfulness of the overall composition, that makes this track, inspire hope – something the world is always in need of.
Words by Stephanie Ospina @ospinamfj