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You don’t need to shout to be heard: nine present-day political songs

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Ministry

By Princess Stomper

“The Clash may have spoken for a highly politicised UK in 1976, but they don’t have anything to say to the disenfranchised and desensitised youth of 2011. Unless someone is prepared to stand up in their place and start screaming soon, this generation is in danger of losing its voice altogether.” – Krissi Murison, The Guardian, 2011

Never mind the bollocks, writing about the state of the nation(s) didn’t die with punk. You can’t realistically pretend that complaining about the state of things ended with Gang Of Four. The mood in the first years of the new century was very different to the decade before it. Gone was the hope and idealism, and in its place was selfish greed and a kind of dull sense of alienation for those who couldn’t participate in the tulipomania of easy credit.

That said, perhaps the zeitgeist of the early 21st Century could have been summed up in Liam Lynch’s novelty one-hit wonder.

Slowly, with the changing economic and political situations across the world, moods have changed from apathy to fear, depression, confusion and anger. There’s hardly been a dearth of social commentary in the past few years, even outside its more traditional “home” of rap. The latest Foetus album, HIDE, was almost entirely political, drawing its nightmare apocalypse from war-torn Sierra Leone and the oilfields of the Middle East.

Meanwhile, Ministry expressed their dislike for Dick Cheney in rather less poetic terms

and, of course, PJ Harvey’s Let England Shake certainly fits the bill.

Still, even those were relatively recent releases, you could be forgiven for insisting on contributions from less long-established acts – political songwriters who could be described with the words “this generation”. There are plenty of those, too.

(continues overleaf)

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5 Responses to You don’t need to shout to be heard: nine present-day political songs

  1. Conan Neutron August 16, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Ifihadahifi- Imperial Walker – http://youtu.be/Awf6UF5d0AM
    Rival Dickens – Forget the Naights – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlsoTjiT5xo

  2. Conan Neutron August 16, 2011 at 10:48 am

    There is PLENTY of screaming, it’s just the NME has a tin ear.

  3. hannah golightly August 16, 2011 at 10:58 am

    If it’s got screaming in it it’s automatically banned from the NME offices.

  4. Everett True August 16, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    I misread this sentence of Erika’s

    Cultures that respect elders often look to the OLD for wisdom.

    as

    Cultures that respect elders often look to QLD for wisdom.

    Sorry. As you were.

  5. Princess Stomper August 16, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    I could also have added Megadeth’s United Abominations: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6c_5Sn3D6BE – not exactly the best Megadeth album, but political throughout.

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