The Rise of Political Rock in a Trump and Post-Brexit World

Trump. Brexit. Immigration issues. Syria. China. North Korea. The world seems to be a lot scarier that it was a couple of years ago. The cultural feedback loop that is music has begun to respond. This is from The Guardian.

When Britain’s youth faced an uncertain post-Brexit future thanks to the votes of their gullible Middle England grandparents and when America voted in WWIII in a bad wig, the frog suddenly woke up to the fact that the water was beginning to boil. What was, a year or so ago, an unfocussed trickle of cross-genre malcontents – Kate Tempest, Savages, Sleaford Mods, Fat White Family, Young Fathers, the ever-outspoken Matt Bellamy, Bobby Gillespie and Rou Reynolds from Enter Shikari – has become a typhoon of protest music.

Trump’s rise alone inspired everyone from Arcade Fire to Gorillaz, Sleater-Kinney, Boss Hog, Stephen Malkmus, Angel Olsen and Green Day to decry him in song, and various members of Public Enemy, Rage Against the Machine and Cypress Hill even formed a supergroup, Prophets of Rage, to bawl him out. Fiona Apple’s even had a crack, releasing songs called Trump’s Nuts Roasting On an Open Fire and Tiny Hands which must, for Trump, feel like being bitten on the balls by the Snowdog.

Now 2017 looks set to be awash with vitriolic political guitar albums. To the fore are Manchester’s Cabbage, creators of the snappily titled Uber Capitalist Death Trade EP, who somehow crept onto the BBC Sound of 2017 longlist with songs about austerity, Jeremy Corbyn, class war, Brexit, Kim Jong-Un, protecting the NHS, the royal family and calls for the head of Donald Trump. Perhaps aware of the Chumbawamba-ness of such themes, guitarist and vocalist Joe Martin denies that the band are activists and claims: “It’s such a bizarre political climate at the moment, it’s just occupying our minds”, but other new bands are on more of a mission.

Read the entire article here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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