Who else wants 10 new albums that blast corrupt politicians?

Protest albums October 2021

Here's a look back at October's political news and the best new music that related to it. You can also listen to .

1. MINISTRY - MORAL HYGIENE 

On October 1, industrial music icons , which takes everything that's wrong with the world and hurls it into a bath of acid. , the song “Believe Me” is "about mistrust — not only in our political figures, but in personal relationships as well”. But it is the album's seventh song, “Broken System”, that "pretty much sums up all the preceding songs on the album. to . How do we get out of it? I don't have the answers entirely, but I do think there’s still some people who aren’t aware that this is a broken system, and those people need to maybe pay attention.” Ministry's highly dedicated fanbase will take the invigorating album as a rallying cry to intensify their activism, and everyone should thank them for that.

2. THE SPECIALS - PROTEST SONGS 1924-2012 

Released the same day was , who put out the collection of protest songs because they felt little had changed since they topped the charts with in 1982. “It’s like going back to the Winter of Discontent," said guitarist Lynval Golding about the country's latest shortages. "They had Brexit, which was all, ‘They’re coming over here, taking our jobs!’, now they’re like, ‘Come back, we need drivers!’ We’re running around, chasing our tail... Racism hasn’t changed in 40 years." Also skewering Thatcherite politics is the new album from Scottish composer . Noting the game's global popularity, its creator, Jim Purvis, said: "We’re still seeing her ghost all over the place in our current socio-political situation."  

3. LOS FASTIDIOS - XXX THE NUMBER OF THE BEAT 

On October 9, such politics came to a head when in Rome, sending shock waves through Italian politics and the labour movement. Two days later, , who have long rallied against such fascism in their country, celebrated their 30th year by releasing their new album. On the song "Take A Stand", written to be sung on football terraces to counter fascism among supporters, the fun-loving band sing: "Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, everybody take a stand, singing on the terraces, everybody shouting loud, against racism. Everybody walk the street, to stop injustice. Everybody side by side and stick together. Not enough to say to be non racist, we cannot be indifferent and silent, united in the streets, in every ground, everybody shouting loud: we are anti-racist."

4. TOM MORELLO - THE ATLAS UNDERGROUND FIRE 

"We came within a baby’s breath of a fascist coup in the US," said , underlining the rise of far-right politics worldwide while discussing his new album, released on October 22. On the album's song "Hold The Line", sings: "Nobody said it happens overnight, but if you're looking for a sign, remember everybody that stood up before you, oh, they hold the line. They wanna tell you you're already free, put these chains on and rob you blind, when they co-op the movement, don't trip, just hold the line." On October 2, — was doing just that as he performed at the Austin City Limits Music Festival following a huge protest for . Days later he released his new solo album, which addresses "".

5. MOD CON - MODERN CONDITION 

On October 7, one such politician said he agreed with . “I’m in the Greta Thunberg camp here," said . "If they actually believed the rhetoric about the world blowing up and all this stuff, you would do a lot more than .” Coming from another angle were Melbourne punks Mod Con, with their scathing new album on October 22. Discussing it, regarding the environment! We’re allowing Indigenous sacred sites to be blown up for mining companies and highways, and The rest of the world wants to slap us in the face with a cold trout for being so pig headed!"

6. BAKER BOY - GELA 

On October 14, Australia's Deputy Prime Minister, , driving a railroad through the wishes of most voters and . The next day, Indigenous musician , which addresses such issues. On the track "Survive", he raps: "When the hunters become hunted, poverty line becomes funded, billionaires with a million shares, market crash, they redundant. Top floor to the dungeon, wouldn't last a day in our shoes. What you know about living off the land...? We just survive, we just survive. I don't how we continue to thrive. We keep on going like we cannot die." The album came as .

7. FRANK WALN - IN THE KEY OF LAKOTA 

Railing against the same colonial vandalism in the United States is the , released on October 8. On "My People Come From The Land", the emcee spits: "My tribe cannot survive as long as the settlers will thrive. For centuries on this land they committed genocide. They don't feel the land. They kill the land. Tried to kill the Indian and save the man. Settlers slaughter. They poison water. From Flint, Michigan, to Standing Rock, the land is hot. The land is hurt. I feel it too. I'm from the earth. My flesh and blood the colour of the dirt. I am blessed enough to love my mother first." A fortnight later across the border, Aboriginal hip-hoppers , which slams similar issues. On "Red Sky At Night" they rap: “Oh Canada, I’m mad at ya. What you put us through, made us savage, boo.”

8. SHIHAD - OLD GODS

Also tearing down the colonists is the , released on October 8. Describing how its opening song was inspired by , singer John Toogood said: “The idea for 'Tear Down Those Names' came directly from watching those clips. Here’s a man who transported and sold tens of thousands of kidnapped African men, women and children, which is an abomination, yet he’d been glorified for years with that statue! That song is about the fact that many of us aren’t prepared for such people to be portrayed as heroic any more, especially in the middle of the streets where we live.” Such actions also inspired the album's artwork, which features a protester spray-painting a figurine in defiance of worldwide.

9. BILLY BRAGG - THE MILLION THINGS THAT NEVER HAPPENED

Addressing the same issue is the , whose name has long been synonymous with protest music. On "Mid-Century Modern", he sings: "It's hard to get your bearings in a world that doesn't care. Positions I took long ago feel comfy as an old arm chair. But , they challenge me to see, the gap between the man I am and the man I wanna be. That old familiar argument blew up again last night. The one where one of us is wrong but both of us feel in the right. My indignation drove me to say things that I regret. I hurt the one I love the most with my self-righteous temperament. Now I'm used to people listening to what I have to say, and I found it hard to think that it might help if I just stepped away.” It is such personal ruminations, rather than political sloganeering, that give the album its strength.

10. ROGER TAYLOR - OUTSIDER 

On October 1, Bragg's fellow Brit, on his solo outings, released his new album. On "", the percussionist pummels politicians as hard as he beats his skins. “I suppose ,” Taylor said. “That wasn’t something we really did as a band. It was a conscious choice. Right at the start – and you’ve got to remember that there was a lot of hardcore political stuff going on in the ‘70s – [Queen singer] Freddie [Mercury] said, ‘Look, I don’t want to get involved in all that. I want to go round the world playing songs that people can enjoy.'" No one will begrudge Mercury for that, but many will be glad Taylor now has the space to express his opinions.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mat Ward has been writing for Green Left since 2009. He also wrote  and makes political music. This month, . You can download it free for a limited time.

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