The Sound of Our Revolution | August 2020: Corruption

As the next livestream show draws nearer – it is once again playlist time for all you Blizzard Comedy fans! This month’s theme is Corruption.

The Tories and indeed the wider political landscape is full of corrupt posh boys who put personal profit above the lives and opportunities for its citizens – and this month has illustrated that a number of ways. Most prominently, the fucking about with A-Level results being determined by an algorithm that saw students in poorer areas getting hugely downgraded through no fault of their own, while private school grades either matched or exceeded the teachers predictions. It doesn’t take a keen political eye to realise that this was nothing short of an attempt to set a precedent where rich families can pay for their kids to get higher grades and therefore even more of an advantage over their lives than they already had.

They did eventually U-Turn after insisting they wouldn’t – but so far there has been little to no accountability of the ministers responsible. And the U-Turn didn’t downgrade the posh boys who still had their grades boosted higher than others. The U-Turn hasn’t aided Universities to fairly allocate spots to students. It has created a situation where already disadvantaged students may either have to wait a year to study, or heavily compromise on where or what they wanted to study.

The only positive from this is that next election the Tories will have to work extra hard to get the vote of the new generation of voters. But it may be 2024 before we get another chance to oust this government, so that’s a small blessing. By then the damage they have wilfully caused will have cut so deep into welfare and quality of life of the working classes that it will take several years to begin to recover the damage done, let alone make the very possible improvements we could’ve got with a genuinely principled and empathetic PM.

On top of Tory bullshit, Starmer is constantly showing his colours as an admittedly very good politician from a technical perspective, but a man who will say and do virtually anything to win. Claiming credit for the U-turn, ignoring the massive protests from students, and insisting the school kids return to school in September despite the high risk to teachers, children and parents in the ongoing pandemic. It’s hard to feel optimistic about anything right now.

So let’s channel that into a playlist of angry melodies at the state of the world and politics in 2020!

With that in mind – here’s my playlist that I feel encapsulates the concepts of mutual aid and unity and a drive against corporate fascism:

1: I Am The Party – Million Dead

“I am the party
The apparatchik and the grey bureaucracy
I am the secret police
Manufacturing a constituency that doesn’t answer back”

We kick off this month’s playlist with a fan suggestion – I don’t know a lot about Million Dead, but this song fucking rocks and is on point with everything. It really illustrates the broken political system and how the politicians manipulate voters to just sit back and accept everything they’re doing as if there’s no alternatives.

The Tories in particular will convince the working class that everyone is a scapegoat except for their party. Queer people, POC, disabled, unemployed, etc. By turning the working class against each other, the Tories skilfully rid themselves of all accountability, and trick the ants into voting for the anteater.

We might as well all vote for ourselves, the good it’ll do.

2: Unfuck The World – Prophets of Rage

“Civilians buried in the rubble where dreams die
Politicians spew lie after fuckin lie”

Prophets of Rage will likely be on every one of these playlists. The day Prophets of Rage or any of their affiliate bands (RATM, Public Enemy, etc) don’t appear on these playlists, it’s either because we’ve given up, or things have vastly improved. Tom Morello and Chuck D are not a force to be reckoned with. Pure outspoken rage at the far right and political corruption. I feel like this song speaks for itself.

3: Rich, White, Straight Men – Kesha

“What if life as we knew it was over?
Guess what? God is a woman, I know her
What if rich, white, straight men
Didn’t rule the world anymore?”

Yeah I’m just as surprised as you are – but turns out Kesha is fucking great. This fantasy song on how different the world could be if the political representation wasn’t run by and only benefiting the core demographic of rich white straight men. Obviously there’s more that needs doing on top of getting rid of all those pricks – and there are plenty of examples of women being just as bad for the working class as their male counterparts – but diverse representation is broadly a good fucking thing, and I think it’s fair to say that if we could have a predominantly non rich white straight male parliament and government, we might actually have a chance of enacting real change. But what do I know?

4: Dictator – Daron Malakian and Scars On Broadway

“Your politics will never corrupt me”

If you’re not familiar with Daron Malakian’s side project Scars on Broadway you are missing out. All the chaotic energy and unique melodies of System of A Down with a little bit more punk influence. Their songs tend to be very simple yet hard hitting – with a lot of repeated verses and refrains. And the main line of this one is the repeat of “Your politics will never corrupt me” which I think fits perfectly with themes of power and corruption.

5: The Source of Strontium 90 – Against All Authority

“You raped the land and sea and sky And now it’s us that you exploit”

Another suggestion I wasn’t familiar with beforehand. Nice catchy punk song about corrupt businesses causing excessive and dangerous pollution all to exploit the poor for money. May be a little bit hyperbolic, but still a pretty good metaphor for the government forcing businesses to open at the great risk of staff and customers alike just so those at the top get to continue to inflate their wealth.

6: Gandhi Mate Gandhi – Enter Shikari

“I don’t think we’re supposed to sit by idle while we continue to use a long outdated system that produces war, poverty, collusion, corruption, ruins our environment and threatens every aspect of our health and does nothing but divide and segregate us.”

Enter Shikari are one of my favourite bands these days – who’d’ve thought that one hit wonder alternative band from the 2000s are such an incredible force and advocate for socialism? Honestly if you’ve dismissed Enter Shikari as that band that did that clap song – listen to some of their later albums, they’re incredible. In particular Common Dreads, A Flash Flood of Colour and The Mindsweep.

This song is from the second of those, and starts off with a catchy electro build up with an impassioned monologue about how broken everything about society is, before one of the best drops in both Metalcore and Drum & Bass. Then the song continues as a 4-minute-long manifesto for socialism. What’s not to love?

7: The Corrupted – Yoko Shimomura (Kingdom Hearts II)

Okay this has no lyrics and therefore arguably doesn’t really belong on this playlist – but it’s literally called “The Corrupted” and it’s a great intense boss battle track, which never fails to get me pumped for a live gig. So I’m putting it on here, end of discussion.

8 Natural Corruption – Epica

“Now that we have finally realized
Realized, petrified
That profit’s made from innocent demise
Profit’s made from tragic demise
Another day goes by where money won’t suffice
A massive gift was meant as contribution
Our conscience comes to aid that ends up in wrong hands
And once the truth’s revealed, intent is fading”

I’ll be honest, I always want to include more symphonic and power metal than I’m ever able to. Cheesey yes, but it’s such a satisfying genre of music to have on a pre-show playlist. This track by Epica is a nice balance of that sound, but also some fairly real lyrics that hit hard. A song about being in a hopeless situation where society and welfare is crumbling due to those in power using it for their own gain without caring about what the cost for power is. We need to fight against this, and we will not stop until change is made, or we die.

9 Hang ‘Em High – Havok

Unable to uphold an oath that they swore to us
Selling us down the river to the big business
They get richer while their policies ruin the lives of millions
I think it’s time for justice to be served”

Havok are your typical libertarian thrash metal band. They have some pretty excellent songs, their riffs and musicianship in general is really good, as well as their arrangement. But damn they have some terrible lyrics and ideas that completely miss the point.

Hang ‘Em High however is one of the songs that pretty much hits the nail on the head – a brutal onslaught of technical guitar work which hammers home the message “The enemy is not coming from overseas” indicating that our worst enemy is not fleeing refugees, it’s not people of colour, it’s those in power.
Also this song has one line that’s just yelling “The United Snakes Of America” and this track is worth a listen for just that alone.

Just be wary of their back catalogue – their song F.P.C. (Fuck Political Correctness) is actually what inspired my infamous Political Correctness routine as a retort at how stupid the message of that song is.

10 Oligarchy – Space Monkey Mafia

“Follow the money, follow the money,
Then you’ll really see who’s running this country”

Another fan suggestion here. Or was it Kirstie? Not sure. Kirstie you’re still a fan right? Even if you are also my business partner? If she isn’t she can just delete this bit, I’ll likely not read this when this is up so I’ll never know. [Editor’s note: Hi, Kirstie here, yes this one was me, and I’m absolutely and always will be your fan, Jonny xoxox]

Anyway, this is a good track. I’m getting to the point in the write up where I’m just repeating the same points. But yeah, just listen to it, this song is all about the fact that a disproportionately small proportion of the population actually have any say or control over politics and society. Democracy is an illusion. It’s time to revolt.

11 We The People – Megadeth

“Violate your rights, no more equality
Surrender freedom, your social security
We the people face unconstitutional lies
In greed we trust, in revolution we die”

Megadeth are another one of those thrash bands that I’m never quite sure of their political stance. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mustaine was a republican, but he certainly has a lot of songs that are applicable against Trump and the far right. This tune from one of their lesser loved albums “Th1rt3en”. It’s maybe not one of their most impressive riff wise, but still a pretty catchy Metal song about being lied to by those in power for their own gain, so well at home here.

12 Politics – Bad Religion

“Economy, technology, does it really work?
The guy running the government’s another jerk
Try to teach some values and they all erode away
You’re lucky if they listen to a single word you say”

I could probably include every Bad Religion song on this playlist – but I went with this one because it’s the first one that came up on shuffle. When Bad Religion aren’t slagging off… well religion, they have plenty of songs about corruption in politics and government. This is one of them.

What did you expect?

13 Wise To Da Game – 25 Ta Life

“We fell victims to your lies once before.
Wise to da game.
We fall victims to your lies no more.
Wise to da game.”

Metallic Hardcore legends 25 Ta Life aren’t the most elegant in their lyrics, shall we say? But they have a sound well-suited to anger and rebellion. That, coupled with lyrics all about being turned against one an other due to lies and manipulation (when you can decipher them anyway), makes it a perfect song for this list.

14 The Noose – The Offspring

“Well, the tracers from yesteryear are burning in the dust
Your bruises are reminders of naivety and trust”

The Offspring are simultaneously one of the best and worst bands of its genre depending on whether you listen to the singles or not. Offspring singles are frankly the worst of pop-punk misogyny whining about girls either not being into them or not being good enough one way or another. But the rest of their back catalogue are pretty catchy yet lyrically intense takedowns of political figures and social issues. This song is one of the latter thankfully – being a nice metaphor of being oppressed and goals slaughtered by the government.

15 Without Prejudice – Protest The Hero

“I am the authority on who deserves what.
To continue your prosperity, you’ve gotta pay a little cut.
We’ll be ruthless and cutthroat and get what we deserve.
We’ll remove each tooth from each swollen mouth and finger at the nerve.”

Protest The Hero are just objectively one of the best bands of all time. They manage to combine incredibly proficient and technical movement – yet still capture the essence of punk which makes them pretty fun to listen to fans of both Punk and Extreme Metal.

This song is just all about how money and evil interconnect and influence each other. The lyrics are fast paced and hard to follow at times, but read them up if you’re interested, it’s very well written

16 Wretches And Kings – Linkin Park

“Get down
And obey every word
Steady getting mine if you haven’t yet heard
Wanna take what I got
Don’t be absurd
Don’t fight the power
Nobody gets hurt”

If you grew up at the tail end of the ’90s and early 2000s, there’s a high chance you were into Linkin Park. At the very least you probably knew a couple of the singles off of Hybrid Theory and Meteora. You may have, like many, dropped off after about 2004 though, in which case you missed gems such as this beauty off of A Thousand Suns.

Given how popular and generally inoffensive the band is, it’s easy to be taken aback by some of their more politically driven songs form the late 2000s and early 2010s. This song functions as a workers anthem, from the Mario Savio speech sample at the beginning and end – to the steady yet heavy beat combining Chester’s passionate and slightly gruffer vocals, to Shinoda’s Public Enemy influenced raps. This basically is the next logical step from every political song that came before it.

17 Fight The Power – Public Enemy

“To revolutionize make a change nothing’s strange
People, people we are the same
No we’re not the same
‘Cause we don’t know the game
What we need is awareness, we can’t get careless
You say what is this?
My beloved let’s get down to business
Mental self defensive fitness
(Yo) bum rush the show
You gotta go for what you know
To make everybody see, in order to fight the powers that be”

Speaking of Public Enemy – I couldn’t not put them on here. Fight the Power is a song that’s appropriate for pretty much all occasions as far as Blizzard Comedy is concerned. Corrupt government? Fight The power. Mutual Aid? Part of that is Fighting the Power. ACAB? Fight the fucking power.

This song will likely appear again very soon, and just as well, it’s a fucking good one.

18 Know Your Enemy – Rage Against The Machine

“Word is born
Fight the war, fuck the norm
Now I got no patience
So sick of complacence
With the D, the E, the F, the I, the A, the N, the C, the E
Mind of a revolutionary, so clear the lane
The finger to the land of the chains
What? The “land of the free”?
Whoever told you that is your enemy
Now something must be done
About vengeance, a badge, and a gun
‘Cause I’ll rip the mic, rip the stage, rip the system
I was born to rage against ’em
Now action must be taken
We don’t need the key, we’ll break in”

Do you know your enemy? If you’ve gotten this far into this post and you don’t yet, then I don’t think you’ve been paying enough attention.

19 The Writing On The Wall – Alter Bridge

“Don’t tell us this is normal
Don’t tell us there’s no change
So selfish and immoral
You’re to blame
Cause you’re the great disruptor
So crass and out of line
Now tell me who will suffer for all your crimes”

I never really thought that much of Alter Bridge as a particularly political band – but then again I don’t know them well enough to comment. But the first verse of this doesn’t pull any punches, it’s very clear who the target of this revolution anthem is.

20 That 1% – The Human Project

“They represent the interests of the few”

An old favourite to end this playlist on. The Human Project are who Blizzard Comedy would be if we were a band. Anti-Capitalism, self proclaimed snowflakes, I really should reach out to them to see if we can make them our official band. Regardless. This song is all about the rich getting everything they want at the expense of the poor. But you all knew that didn’t you? YEAH YOU DID, OTHERWISE I DON’T KNOW WHY YOU READ THIS POST FOR SO LONG.

There’s my playlist for this month – we hope this gets you pumped for our show which will be livestreamed on YouTube on the 31st August.

Listen to Jonny’s Corruption playlist here.

You can follow Jonny’s work by checking out their Facebook and Twitter.

Find out more about the next episode of Blizzard Comedy’s Broadcast Avalanche on Monday 31st August here.

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