Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election Day song pick: Testament - D.N.R

There comes a magical time once every four years in the United States of America that leaves many wondering: are we really United? There have been several studies that have successfully correlated the intensity and focus of songs and their lyrics with times of political strife (See Vietnam War and protest songs, Punk music and anti-facist protests in Europe, etc.), but many would argue that this political cycle is the worst in a long time.

So where is the angsty and angry music demanding change? Where are the anthems for youth to rally behind so that they feel heard? I'd argue that the relationship between music and politics have changed, mostly for the benefit of the politicians it seems. Big politicians are reaching out and obtaining permission from large stadium-rock bands to use their classic hits as 'theme songs' of sorts to help introduce them to crowds on the campaign trail, often choosing songs that mirror their political messages or points about their personalities that they're trying to play up (see Sarah Palin and Heart's "Barracuda" most recently, or check out this NPR listicle of songs used to promote candidates that angered many.) Gone are the rallying cries for change through musical medium, Pop is here to distract and placate (because who can be mad when we have Pharrell Williams' "Happy"?).

Artist: Testament
Song: D.N.R. (Do Not Resuscitate)
Album: The Gathering
Year: 1999
Genre: Trash Metal

Thoughts: I chose this song in particular due to the lyrics and sentiment of the song. It may be a stretch to some, but my discontent with the political ecosystem (perhaps my discontent in general, but it can be applied to politics as well) at this time is perfectly described by this song. Okay, maybe it's a tad melodramatic, but if feelings of general discontent were made into a song, well.... It just wouldn't be made into a song. One thing that stands out to me in the song is the semi-frantic yet subdued guitar intro leading straight into face melting chords. No wasted time in this song.

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