Another month where time feels weird, another set of cool releases. Looking back at the spooky month, there are plenty of highlights – from punk rock legends to new names and old covers, here’s everything the shone from the past month.
Bad Religion – ‘What Are We Standing For’
Bad Religion’s new song ‘What Are We Standing For’ was originally an outtake from their 2019 album Age of Unreason, an expression of support for US athletes who are choosing to take a knee during the national anthem in protest against police brutality. In the terrifying climate of 2020. As the election drew nearer, the band felt it important to express their support for the Black Lives Matter movement and urge people to support protests against police violence. It’s a cleverly written, undoubtedly necessary tack from the band. Bad Religion’s advocacy for individualism and protesting against injustice is more essential than ever – something that we need to be reminded of all the time, not just when it appears on the news.
Bad Religion’s ‘What Are We Standing For’ is available via Epitaph
The Struts – Strange Days
The Struts’ Strange Days was a conflicting release, but one that was all the same worth a listen last month. The project was made in ten days, with a whole host of legendary collaborators joining them. The mention of ‘lockdown’ in The Struts’ classic glam-rock sound is jarring at best, verging on uncomfortable. However, don’t let the lack of escapism draw away from the great music throughout the album. ‘All Dressed Up (With Nowhere To Go)’ will have you longing for the days of getting ready for a night, and ‘Wild Child’ is a magical joint effort with Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello, who will never disappoint on guitar. The sound goes from 70s glam to 00s indie, and it is a great record if you don’t mind how explicitly 2020 it is.
The Strut’s Strange Days is available via Interscope Records.
Salem – Salem
As seen on our One’s To Watch #1, Salem are the project of Creeper’s Will Gould and long-time collaborator Matt Reynolds. Their self-titles debut is a selection of love songs with a gothic horror core. ‘Destroy Me’ and ‘Fall Out Of Love’ will be stuck in your head for months to come, and based on the new songs that they premiered at their triumphant, pre-lockdown Halloween cabaret, this isn’t a one off project from Salem. This band thrives on theatricality, clever songwriting and big choruses, leading to one of the finest hidden gems of October.
Salem’s self-title EP is available via Roadrunner Records / Warner Records UK.
Billie Joe Armstrong – ‘Amico’
Like September, this Round Up features another cover from Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong ahead of his No Fun Mondays album which is expected out this month. Just as he gifted us with a new song on YouTube every Monday at the start of the year, the end of the year has us enjoying them all over again as he releases the tracks as singles every week. The twist here: ‘Amico’ is sung entirely in Italian. Although I can’t speak on his pronunciation, this song is a lot of fun, and you can hear the joy in his voice singing it. It’s only a matter of time before we have all of these lovely covers in one place…
Billie Joe Armstrong’s ‘Amico’ is available via Reprise Records.
Featured image via Canva.