Charlottesville by Bryan Toney is a song about watching the media coverage of an appalling tragedy in your own backyard and realising you can no longer pretend that race hatred is something that happens far away to other people.
A downbeat, trip hop giant, pregnant with heart-bursting emotion, Charlottesville is simultaneously a tribute to those who risk their lives to stand up against race hatred and a declaration of rage against right-wing extremists – especially those in the highest office.
Legendary Californian hardcore punks Bad Religion enter the Trump era with their first new material since 2013’s True North album, a mosh-friendly 150 second burst of upbeat agit-pop, speeding up the riff from London’s Burning by The Clash, with sneaky references to the Solomon Burke soul classic Everybody Needs Somebody and of course the Who’s mod anthem The Kids Are Alright.
When you think of the archetypal protest singer, the image that comes to mind is probably a weary, earnest, lank-haired folk troubadour gently strumming a battered acoustic guitar with all the energetic tempo of your geography teacher on a Monday morning. But along comes Mike Frazier to wipe the slate clean with a take-no-crap four-to-the-floor protest song powered by the Energizer Bunny with Tony the Tiger on lead guitar.