The Best Rock + Metal Songs of September — Staff Favorites + Essentials
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 July with a mix of essential songs and choice selections from the Loudwire staff. Maybe you'll even discover a new band that rules!
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.
The Agonist, “Remnants in Time”
Angels & Airwaves, “Spellbound”
Animals as Leaders, “Monomyth”
Archspire, “Bleed the Future”
As I Lay Dying, “Roots Below”
Bad Wolves, “Lifeline”
Billy Talent, “End of Me” ft. Rivers Cuomo
Bring Me the Horizon, “Die4u”
Bullet For My Valentine, “Shatter”
Cradle of Filth, “Necromantic Fantasies”
Cynic, “Mythical Serpents”
The Darkness, “Nobody Can See Me Cry”
The Devil Wears Prada, “Sacrifice”
Dream Theater, “Invisible Monster”
Eddie Vedder, “Long Way”
Every Time I Die, “Planet Shit”
Fit For an Autopsy, “Far From Heaven”
Ghost, “Hunter’s Moon”
Guns N’ Roses, “Hard Skool”
Hypocrisy, “Chemical Whore”
Jerry Cantrell, “Brighten”
John 5, “Que Pasa” ft. Dave Mustaine
Limp Bizkit, “Dad Vibes”
The Lucid, “Maggot Wind”
Mastodon, “Pushing the Tides”
Me and That Man, “Angel of Light”
Tom Morello, “Let’s Get the Party Started” ft. Bring Me the Horizon
Of Mice & Men, “Mosaic”
Papa Roach, “Kill the Noise”
Silent Planet, “Terminal”
Skillet, “Surviving the Game”
Starset, “The Breach”
Tremonti, “Now and Forever”
Unto Others, “No Children Laughing Now”
Volbeat, “Shotgun Blues”
Wage War, “Teeth”
We Came As Romans, “Black Hole”
Whitechapel, “A Bloodsoaked Symphony”
RELEASED: Sept. 17
A little over a decade ago, I obsessively went down the new wave/darkwave rabbit hole, bringing myself up to speed on legendary acts such as Depeche Mode and Sisters of Mercy, which spilled into the retrowave scene that was bubbling up in the modern day, albeit with some fresh twists (Cold Cave, TRST, Xeno and Oaklander, etc.).
Admittedly, I haven’t kept up with much of the current scene in recent years, but thanks to the never-ending supply of new music filtering through my inbox, LEVVELS caught my ear with “Personal.” There’s a big time Depeche Mode vibe here vocally and in regards to the band’s pop sensibilities and, like any great new wave-styled track, a wonderful, driving bass line.
RELEASED: Sept. 3
Y'all like ‘death western’? Okay, so maybe SpiritWorld’s Pagan Rhythms album came out last year, but Century Media has since snatched the band up and is spreading the good word to all those who weren’t aware this record or band even existed. The songwriting is direct (yay!), reliant on overly simplified riffs (again, yay!) and ripe with a rock ‘n’ roll spirit that makes “Comancheria” some of the best death ‘n’ roll since Entombed’s Uprising.
BAND: Swallow the Sun
SONG: “Woven Into Sorrow”
RELEASED: Sept. 24
Before issuing any proper singles from the forthcoming Moonflowers album, Swallow the Sun offered up versions played by a classical trio (cello, violin and viola), which gave fans a completely different perspective of the music before the studio recordings began to unfurl. “Woven Into Sorrow” stays true to the Finnish band’s hopelessly depressing style of death-doom, which can sometimes feel all too much amid the perils of this ongoing pandemic and societal discord.
BAND: Heart Attack Man
SONG: “Pitch Black”
Released: Sept. 22
Heart Attack Man is a menace to society, but, honestly, the songs are really good.
SONG: “Misinterpreting Constellations”
Released: Sept. 22
SeeYouSpaceCowboy announced their impending new full-length record, The Romance Of Affliction, with the excellent first single, “Misinterpreting Constellations.” The song is a healthy dose of nostalgic metalcore with the band incorporating more melody and clean vocals than in the past. Still, they manage to keep their chaotic edge, just a bit more polished. And, the claps right before the breakdown are *chef’s kiss*.
BAND: Boston Manor
Released: Sept. 29
Boston Manor can always be depended upon to deliver a gloomy banger. A la ‘90s grunge, this band serves up songs that are dark and gritty while still being super catchy. And, somehow, they always sound even better when played live. “Algorithm” is perfect if you’re fed up with the world and/or yourself, but, like, still wanna vibe.
BAND: The Record Company
SONG: Gotta Be Movin’
RELEASED: Sept. 23
I actually discovered The Record Company through JJ Wilde, who’s going on tour with the band starting in October. Their song “Gotta Be Movin’” is just one of those songs that will literally make you want to be moving. It’s mellow and subtle, but the beat and the guitar riff are addictive enough that you can put the song on repeat over and over again and not get tired of it. Sometimes less is more, and this track is a great example of that.
BAND: Crown Lands
SONG: The Witching Hour (Electric Witch)
RELEASED: Sept. 16
Let’s start by acknowledging that Crown Lands were the recipients of the Breakthrough Group of the Year award at this year’s Canadian Juno Awards. The duo often tell the stories of Indigenous tribes and the hardships they’ve endured in their songs, which have a ‘70s prog rock flavor to them. “The Witching Hour (Electric Witch)” has a grandiose chorus and complex instrumentation throughout that induces a powerful feeling of inspiration while you listen.
BAND: The Haunt
SONG: “Make Me King”
RELEASED: Sept. 9
There’s something so empowering about the line “Hand me your fucking crown,” and that’s exactly what Anastasia snarls in The Haunt’s latest single “Make Me King.” Overall, the song has a message that’s pretty damn dark, especially coming from such young songwriters. But it portrays a certain maturity that many young artists are lacking today, and it’s electronic edge gives it an almost industrial feel, which adds to the darkness.
SONG: “Johnny Wants to Fight”
RELEASED: Sept. 2
Ever since I received my advanced copy of Badflower's new album This Is How the World Ends, I've been obsessed with "Johnny Wants to Fight." You know you love a song when you remix it to include your dog's activities and sing it to them. It's catchy as all hell, and you can just envision people losing it in a live setting when that chorus comes in and Josh Katz is unapologetically the bad guy. I strongly believe Badflower's sophomore album is going to score them a grammy nod and they deserve that and more.
BAND: Saudade Featuring Randy Blythe
SONG: “Day of the Lords”
RELEASED: Sept. 10
Lamb of God’s powerhouse Randy Blythe may not be the first name that you would associate with goth / new wave icons Joy Division, but his lower register truly provides the perfect compliment to the lush arrangement laid out on Saudade’s cover of Joy Division’s “Day of the Lords.” “In my opinion, it’s the heaviest of Joy Division’s songs,” said Blythe, who does Ian Curtis justice with this cover. Saudade’s Chuck Doom, who has perfected the ebb and flow vibe with Team Sleep, Crosses and Palms, and drummer Gil Sharone set the wheels in motion, pulling in Team Sleep’s Todd Wilkinson, Vowws’ Matt Campbell and Stolen Babies’ Dominique Lenore Persi to create this lavishly dark soundscape that’s aided by Blythe’s growing aggression.
BAND: Wet Leg
SONG “Wet Dream”
RELEASED: Sept. 29
After appearing as a pick earlier this year for their irreverent breakout “Chaise Longue,” the duo of Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers return with another undeniably catchy earworm. Wet Leg’s “Wet Dream” was inspired by a shared post-breakup dream, but rather than keep the awkwardness private, it’s now been turned into song form for us to enjoy voyeuristically in all its weirdness. And yes, they did actually namecheck the Vincent Gallo movie Buffalo ‘66 for what it’s worth.
SONG: “Feed the Cruel”
RELEASED: Sept. 16
It may be a new band, but there’s some definite recognition value here with NHC. The letters equate to Dave Navarro, Taylor Hawkins and Chris Chaney, a trio of musicians who’ve crossed paths over the years during their main gigs in Jane’s Addiction and Foo Fighters. Initially dropping two songs simultaneously, “Feed the Cruel” is the stronger of the two tracks. A propulsive, driving track that feels like it could have fit just as easily in the late ‘80s as today, the song benefits from a distinctive Navarro guitar line, an off-to-the-races energy and Hawkins melodic lead vocals. We’re anxious to see what comes next.
BAND: Kills Birds
RELEASED: Sept. 15
Here’s a band to keep an eye on. Kills Birds are building toward their sophomore set, Married, coming in November, giving us this gorgeously solemn and longing lament, “Glisten.” Watery guitar licks lay the foundation, but it’s the emotional heft of the vocal from Nina Ljeti that really sells the song — one moment drowning and floating along in a melancholy of hurt, the next defiantly addressing her betrayal at the hands of a loved once emotionally belting, “Why don’t you love me?” The group has already landed high profile opening spots on separate tours with Sleigh Bells and Foo Fighters this fall, so you could be hearing more of them very soon.
BAND: Royston Langdon
SONG: “Halfway Home”
RELEASED: Sept. 15
Go ahead, you know you want to snap or clap along. If the name Royston Langdon sounds familiar, it’s likely because you remember his band Spacehog and their ‘90s alterna-hit “In the Meantime.” Now working as a solo artist, Langdon gives us this undeniably infectious new song “Halfway Home” as the lead single from his forthcoming Chains EP, due Oct. 29. Turn it up and enjoy the stomp-clap shuffle while playing this on repeat.
BAND: A Secret Revealed
SONG: “Monument of Guilt”
RELEASED: Sept. 24
Great song. Incredible video. Loneliness is not a rare commodity in the COVID age, but few pieces of art capture the zeitgeist quite like A Secret Revealed’s “Monument of Guilt.” The punishing and moody track delves into self-hatred and the corrosion of guilt, followed by the destruction of that very beast on your shoulder. Gorgeous animation from Lukas Brückner is the icing on this glorious track, which I see as essential viewing in 2021.
BAND: The Lurking Fear
SONG: “Cosmic Macabre”
RELEASED: Sept. 17
One commenter on this video said, “Is there some kind of irony that this sounds more like At the Gates than At the Gates sounds now?” That’s exactly what’s great about this track — it’s unapologetic Boss Metal Zone d-beat reminiscent of classic Tomas Lindberg acts such as Disfear and Skitsystem. If you want more of a good thing, serve your ass some meat and potatoes with The Lurking Fear.