The Weekly Wire playlist is still roaring, packed with 50 new songs each week and, here, we're recapping the Best Rock + Metal Songs of the Month for January with a mix of essential songs and choice selections from the Loudwire staff. Maybe you'll even discover a new band that rules!

The Essentials

You know these bands and you probably heard these songs the instant they came out — midnight Spotify lurkers, we see you...

  • Follow Loudwire's 'Best of the Month' playlist on Spotify here.

Abbath, “Dream Cull”
Amorphis, “On Dark Waters”
Asking Alexandria, “New Devil” ft. Maria Brink
Avril Lavigne, “Love It When You hate Me” ft. blackbear
Blacktop Mojo, “Strike Me”
Brandon Boyd, “Dime In My Dryer”
Circa Survive, “Electric Moose”
Corpsegrinder, “On Wings of Carnage”
Dark Funeral, “Let the Devil In”
Eddie Vedder, “Brother the Cloud”
Erra, “Nigh to Silence”
Falling in Reverse, “Zombified”
Fit for an Autopsy, “Two Towers”
Frank Turner, “A Wave Across a Bay”
Ghost, “Call Me Little Sunshine”
HammerFall, “Venerate Me”
The Hellacopters, “Eyes of Oblivion”
Hot Water Music, “Collect Your Things and Run”
Ibaraki, “Tamashii No Houkai”
Immolation, “The Age of No Light”
Jack White, “Love Is Selfish”
Joe Satriani, “Sahara”
Kid Rock, “We the People”
Korn, “Forgotten”
Meshuggah, “The Abysmal Eye”
Muse, “Won’t Stand Down”
Papa Roach, “Stand Up”
Sabaton, “Soldier of Heaven”
Scorpions, “Rock Believer”
Shinedown, “Planet Zero”
Skillet, “Dominion”
Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators, “Call Off the Dogs”
The Veer Union, “Standing My Ground”
Venom Prison, “Nemesis”
Vio-Lence, “Flesh From Bone”
Voivod, “Paranormalium”
Voyager, “Dreamer”

Staff Picks

Graham Hartmann

SONG: “Fear in Non Fiction”

This punishing track is a colossal meeting of underground eras. have proven their unpredictability yet again by featuring Thursday singer Geoff Rickly on “Fear in Non Fiction,” transporting fans from a 2022 chorus to a 2003 bridge instantly. If you’re an old man like myself, you’ll find “Fear in Non Fiction” sending you back to high school math class, when you vibed out to War All the Time on your brick of an OG iPod. Take me back.

BAND: Persefone
SONG: “Katabasis”

Look, I’ll listen to great guitar work even if a song’s overall composition is trash. Thankfully though, Persefone isn’t that type of band. The longstanding and extremely dependable Andorran act are poised to have a banner year in 2022, having gotten the call-up from modern-day tastemakers Napalm Records. The expressive and prog heavy “Katabasis” is filled with big riffs and intriguing twists, and may prove to be one of this year’s can-not-ignore cuts.

Lauryn Schaffner

BAND: The Violent
SONG: “People Are Strange”

Whereas everyone else would most likely be between The Beatles or The Rolling Stones, I’d choose The Doors. Their eccentric nature made them stand out against every other band of the '60s and ‘70s, and that’s saying a lot because that was such a revolutionary time in rock ‘n’ roll. So, when I heard that The Violent had done a cover of their ragtime-esque song “People Are Strange,” I had to check it out. To my pleasant surprise, The Violent made the song modernized but just as quirky, and completely their own. Mr. Mojo Risin’ would certainly be a fan.

BAND: Gayle
SONG: “ur just horny”

If Olivia Rodrigo’s catchy pop-rock anthems about sadness and failed relationships was your cup of tea in 2021, say hello to Gayle, who doesn’t need our help reaching a wider audience, but deserves to be here anyway. Last year’s “abcdefu” really put her on the map, but her latest single “ur just horny” is a grand addition to her catalog of angsty songs about adolescent heartbreak, touching upon the hardships that come with being in a relationship in the modern age of social media and ever-present commitment issues.

BAND: Dorothy
SONG: “Rest in Peace”

Dorothy made her comeback in the summer of 2021 with “What’s Coming to Me,” and it signified her return to the blues-based rock ‘n’ roll she delivered with her 2016 debut Rockisdead. “Rest in Peace” is the second single from her upcoming third studio album Gifts From the Holy Ghost, and it may honestly be my new favorite song of hers. The subtlety of the instrumentation throughout the verses allows the spotlight to shine brightly on her vocals, which sound stronger and more crisp than ever before. The lyrics are laced with metaphors and dark imagery, which creates for a powerful visual, emotional and sonic experience all at once.

Joe DiVita

BAND: Midnight
SONG: “Szex Witchery”

I loved where black rock ‘n’ roll hooligans Midnight went with their last album, Rebirth By Blasphemy, which has remained in high rotation since its release in 2020. “Szex Witchery,” a sleazy, grunting ripper served as the initial preview of Let There Be Witchery and it’s a continuation of the melodic punk leader Athenar discharged with such excellence the last time around. And that fun little surf rock nod in the solo is quite deserving of a lip-smacking chef’s kiss.

BAND: Nite
SONG: “Acheron”

Moving on from Midnight, we have Nite — just Nite. The blackened heavy metal group from San Francisco will drop Voices of the Kronian Moon, their second album and first under Season of Mist, on March 1 and “Acheron,” the second single positions the band as the torchbearers of a scene inhabited by the likes of Tribulation, Bewitcher, the aforementioned Midnight and labelmates Cloak.

BAND: Undeath
SONG: “Rise From the Grave”

It feels like Rochester, New York, brutes Undeath just dropped their Lesions of a Different Kind debut and, after generating some buzz in the underground alongside newcomers Frozen Soul and Sanguisugabogg, they’re back again, this time informing us all It’s Time… To Rise From the Grave. It almost sounds like the fellas spent the last year only listening to Cannibal Corpse’s The Bleeding, and that’s a good thing. Okay, there’s still more originality than that observation alludes to, namely melodic guitar playing! It’s still meat and potatoes death metal, now with some gravy poured on top.

Todd Fooks

Band: Bloc Party
Song: “The Girls Are Fighting”
Released: Jan. 28

Brit mainstays Bloc Party have been churning out their brand of rocktronica slices of life for a couple decades now. “The Girls Are Fighting” draws from jealous/drunken moments in clubs. Drawing inspiration from the Clash and creating a hooligan anthem, any song that sings there is blood on the dance floor, and literally means it, has got me every time. It’s the first single from Alpha Games, out Apr. 29.

Band: Bomber
Song: “Zarathustra”
Released: Jan. 18

Dust off the airbrushed van with the valkyrie in the garage: Swedish rockers Bomber are rocking us back to when rock meant visions of the medieval and magical… no pandemic statements here. Fans of Iron Maiden and Dio strap in for a retro ride to a time when the “golden god used to reign.” Multiple guitar crescendos highlight this musical adventure to a satisfying climax of pure throwback metal fun.

Mike Stern

Band: Yelawolf and Shooter Jennings
Song: “Make Me a Believer”
Released: Jan. 21

Here’s as unlikely a pairing as you’ll ever find, rapper Yelawolf and country music icon Waylon Jennings’ son, who goes by Shooter, have teamed up for a new album titled Sometimes Y that will be released in early March. The sound of the first song, “Make Me a Believer,” is equally unexpected. It’s a straight-ahead Rocker that could have easily come out of the ‘80s and has drawn comparisons to both Bruce Springsteen and Poison.

Band: Steve Vai
Song: “Zeus in Chains”
Released: January 13

It’s been a big month for those who love to worship at the altar of the guitar gods. Not only did Joe Satriani release a new song called “Sahara” but Steve Vai also returned with “Zeus in Chains,” the latest song from an upcoming album titled Inviolate. The new track is a mid-tempo rocker that showcases the incredible balance of subtlety and power that is a hallmark of Vai’s style.

Rabab Al-Sharif

BAND: Carolesdaughter
SONG: “Target Practice”
Released: Jan. 21

Have you ever heard a song and wished you could go back in time and listen to it on your Sony Discman as you sullenly look out of a dirty school bus window? Carolesdaughter’s latest track, “Target Practice,” transports me back to those days, but it also serves as a grungy, dreamy anthem for anyone who feels targeted and misunderstood. Caroledaughter perfectly captures distorted ‘90s vibes while bringing a timeless message.

BAND: Thornhill
SONG: “Arkangel”
Released: Jan. 24

Like the Caroledaughter song above, this new Thornhill track is inspired by the ‘90s and Buffy The Vampire Slayer (I guess I have a type and it’s ‘90s vampire vibes). Even so, it’s got a totally different feel with a pulsing groove and ethereal vocals. The band has garnered plenty of Deftones comparisons with “Arkangel,” but just take a listen and you’ll see that it’s in the best way possible.

Chad Childers

BAND: Austin John Winkler
SONG: “SuperJaded”

Once you get past the harrowing personal story of Winkler’s health crisis and struggle with sobriety that inspired “SuperJaded,” you realize that Winkler just has a damn good song on his hands — the kind that helped put him on the map with Hinder to begin with. The song has a chorus that will stick in your head for days, and it’s only enhanced by knowing the emotional impact that seeps through the weathered impassioned vocal. It feels like an active rock radio smash in waiting.

BAND: Carpenter Brut featuring Greg Puciato
SONG: “Imaginary Fire”

French synthwave artist Carpenter Brut amps up the wall of fuzzed out aggressive synths, eventually calling upon ex-Dillinger Escape Plan vocalist Greg Puciato to give “Imaginary Fire” a voice. Utilizing the urgency of the musical vibe, Puciato lays out the story of a relationship where the two sides are not on the same page, but trying to get there.

BAND: Gang of Youths
SONG: “In the Wake of Your Leave”

The death of a loved one can leave you dealing with a wealth of emotions, including how you’re perceived to be dealing with your grief. Aussie upstarts take what could be a downer of a subject matter and turn it into something melodically upbeat and empowering, occupying a soaring musical space that could be reminiscent of The Killers. It’s a beautifully constructed song that demands repeat playing and tips the emotion invoked in the band’s upcoming angel in realtime album.

BAND: Giovannie and the Hired Guns
SONG: “Can’t Answer Why”

A 2021 pick in this column for the previous single “Ramon Ayala,” Giovannie and the Hired Guns continue to gain momentum with “Can’t Answer Why.” Feeling reminiscent of ‘90s guitar-centric alt-rock, “Can’t Answer Why” delivers a heartfelt take on dealing with anxiety and self-doubt. It’s easy to see why Giovannie and the Hired Guns are generating such buzz as the new year begins.

BAND: The Smile
SONG: “You Will Never Work in Television Again”

The Smile may not be full-fledged Radiohead, but the band’s lead single “You Will Never Work in Television Again” could easily fit within their catalog. The track is a driving rocker filled with vitriolic spite towards an unnamed oppressor robbing the innocence from a wild-eyed dreamer as the title might infer. The Yorke-Greenwood pairing kicks off just as sharp and on point with drummer Tom Skinner as it does within their regular band.

Toni Gonzalez

BAND: Ho9909
SONG: “Battery Not included”

Travis Barker strikes again, this time producing and co-writing Ho99o9's "Battery Not Included." This song is basically the definition of raging but for your earholes. It's super high energy combining aggressive vocals and a techno beat that will take you back to your rave years (I had a lot of phases). The band is also Slipknot approved having been announced as support on leg two of their Knotfest Roadshow. Some days you're in the mood for a different kind of in your face, and Ho99o9 is ready to deliver.

BAND: Stabbing Westward
SONG: “Ghost”

As someone who has been playing Stabbing Westward on the radio for years (currently on Loudwire Nights, listen for free via the Loudwire app), stoked they are back! The band will be releasing “Chasing Ghosts," their first studio album in over 20 years, on March 18. So far they've offered up the song "I Am Nothing," and just followed that up with "Ghost." The band is looking to recreate that original chemistry, and I think that's achieved on the track. Dig that beat. They sound like they did back in the day — definitely worth a check out.

Philip Trapp

BAND: Foo Fighters
SONG: "Fraggle Rock Rock"

What better way to celebrate the new year than with a new Foo Fighters track that's perhaps the most fun song the band has done since, say, "White Limo"? Dave Grohl and company enter Muppet mode on "Fraggle Rock Rock," the Foos' contribution to Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock, a new Apple TV+ series based on Jim Henson's cave-dwelling puppet creatures. "Dance your cares away / Worries for another day," Grohl sings in the lighthearted rock barnburner. "Let the music play."

BAND: Sonic Youth
SONG: "In & Out"

We'd wager to bet old-school alt-rock fans didn't guess 2022 would bring news of a new Sonic Youth album — albeit a rarities compilation from the Nirvana-influencing band's final decade called In/Out/In. Yet the collection of outtakes arrives digitally on March 11 and was previewed this month with "In & Out," a very lo-fi cut that would float the boat of any fans of Thurston Moore solo albums. Just don't bet on a Sonic Youth reunion. Guitarist Lee Ranaldo recently said, "We're all living and breathing, so you never know what the future will bring. But we have not entertained it."

BAND: Wet Leg *
SONG: "Material Girl" (Madonna Cover)

Indie-rock duo Wet Leg make Madonna's "Material Girl" almost unrecognizable in a plodding and foreboding cover of the 1985 hit they performed this month on SiriusXMU. Adorned with static and swells, it leaves only Madonna's lyrics intact. Otherwise, Wet Leg paint the number in their own abstract image, vocalist Rhian Teasdale's delicate vocals slipping in and out of the track like a fever dream. The duo's self-titled debut album arrives on April 8.

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