The world seems to be shifting perspective, and reconsidering assumptions. There are many rock bands who you have sang along to, banged your head to, moshed to, and crowd-surfed to. Several of them have been attempting to educate and enlighten you in the process. Were you listening, really listening? Do you pay attention to the lyrics? Do you research the incidents, experiences and circumstances that led to their artistic expression? Now is the time to revisit some recent albums, but with a new perspective. In the spirit of education and empathy, here are our Five Fave Rock Albums That Matter Right Now.
5. Body Count feat. Ice-T – Carnivore – 2020 (and Bloodlust – 2017)
Ice-T has spent his career in rap and rock speaking loudly about social issues, particularly police violence against the black community. On his most recent albums, he broadens that focus, realizing that those in power work diligently to categorize, divide and antagonize the majority of the people they pretend to rule. These songs speak directly to the frustration, desperation and anger that so many have faced for so long. He combines rock vocals with spoken word and actual media clips to drive his points home.
Anywhere, any time
They shoot first and ask questions last
Could be yours, could be mine
And then they point the finger at you
- Body Count “Point The Finger”
4. Nonpoint – X – 2018
Nonpoint is another band who have touched on social issues throughout their career. Vocalist Elias Soriano is more poet than lyricist, and he makes his points in a more subtle and general way than Ice-T does. As in all great art, the consumer can draw their own impressions from the work, and sometimes songs take on new meanings as your personal experiences and world view broaden.
There’s a name for all of this
A shame in all of this
Done watchin’ in disbelief
Done turnin’ the other cheek
Doesn’t seem right to me
But maybe this is how it’s all supposed to be?
You don’t really want to fix this
- Nonpoint “Fix This”
3. P.O.D. – Circles – 2018
P.O.D. is a band from Chula Vista in San Diego which has been talking about the American experience for 2 decades. They have always maintained their religious faith and incorporate that into their lyrics. While speaking truth about the darkest days and experiences of life, they offer hope and optimism amidst the heartache.
So who are you to say what life is like, that life is good?
And I bet whoever said it never walked up in my hood
So I wish you would, and maybe you should
You should discover what is missing, since you misunderstood
- P.O.D. – “Fly Away”
2. Fire From The Gods – American Sun – 2019 (and Narrative – 2016)
Fire From The Gods combines rock with reggae, a music form that is synonymous with social injustice and pleads for healing. Vocalist Akil “AJ” Channer is a brilliant lyricist and vocalist who speaks truth to power, while searching for answers and common ground. The acknowledgement of mistakes and existence of issues are important first steps towards working for peaceful and equitable solutions.
How can we exist in a constant state of crisis
Society in conflict
All the ignorance betrays a weakness
Too much pride to admit there’s a sickness
Like walking corpses
Something’s gotta change
- Fire From The Gods “Right Now”
1. Fever 333 – Strength In Numb333rs – 2019
Fever 333 is a project started in 2017 by vocalist Jason Aalon Butler, guitarist Stephen Harrison and drummer Aric Improta, with writing and production from Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker. The band intentionally formed to provide a soundtrack to the protests that have been building over time, and are now dominating the world. Their 2018 EP “Made an America” and 2019 full length debut “Strength In Numbers” focus on the raw emotions from a life growing up in Inglewood, California, watching family and friends struggle against the systemic oppression and racism that have once again boiled over nationally. Their musical style is based in punk rock and hip-hop. The lyrics are cutting and emotional, and should make people feel uncomfortable. The band recently released a single “Supremacy”, which they debuted during a live demonstration dubbed “Long Live The Innocent”, which can be seen below. All proceeds benefit Black Lives Matter & Minnesota Freedom Fund.
They gotta isolate, they gotta segregate this
Just to keep us down, to keep us broken down, to keep us on the streets
Another body laying on the floor now
Tell everybody they better take their tone out
When talking about it, and everything they saw
No justice, no peace, we at war with the law
- Fever 333 “One Of Us”