Saying bye to people has changed a lot over the last couple of weeks. It’s never just ‘see ya later’ or ‘until next time’ now, it’s always preceded or followed by some variation of ‘stay safe’. And listen, it’s quite apt, but does the tone of it always have to be so doom and gloom? It can be the chirpiest goodbye and then the mood always drops for the reminder that you should stay safe. Maybe it’s just me, I don’t get on with small-talk very well. But that’s neither here nor there…
Yup, we’re all indoors – working in our PJs, streaming and watching box sets, discovering that even though those old tins of food at the back of the cupboard have finally found use, that doesn’t mean they’re gonna taste very nice. It’s a very weird time in the world. For those of us at UDS, we’re potentially facing a Summer with NO LIVE MUSIC, and it might well do us more harm personally than the coronavirus ever could. Not only that but we’re seeing massive cinematic releases being postponed, albums being postponed – well, just about everything being postponed! What do a bunch of geeks talk about when Pop Culture is seemingly on hold for an indefinite amount of time? Well, the impending death of humanity, of course!
Now now, it’s not quite that drastic, but it’s definitely hard to shake the feeling of an impending apocalypse, no matter how unlikely it may be (hey, we’ve not been outside all week, there are probably zombies and mutants filling the streets already, there’s no way of knowing!). Well, we here at UDS thought it would be nice to jump on the bandwagon and make a playlist filled with songs fit for quarantine, and we also thought it best to include some songs fit for the apocalypse. Just in case, you know? Without any further ado, here are UDS’s songs for the Quarantine/Impending Apocalypse:
Enough Space – Foo Fighters (Dobbie)
This one goes without saying really, right? You better be doing your social distancing correctly, it’s for the good of everyone! Make sure you keep enough space apart (6 feet is the guideline, at least). As far as the song goes, it’s one of the heaviest Foo Fighters choruses going, with Dave Grohl in full scream mode for the vocals. It’s a song designed to make you want to move (as explained by Dave in the Foo’s documentary, Back and Forth) – perhaps you could listen to it whilst on your daily exercise?
Possession – Whitechapel (Tom)
The second single from Whitechapel’s sophomore record This Is Exile, “Possession” is about as groovy as deathcore gets. Despite its visceral aggression, it has a bounce that permeates throughout, making it more tuneful than a first listen might have you believe.
Phil Bozeman is, in this writer’s humble opinion, the most gifted vocalist in the genre, and although he would only refine his talent over the subsequent decade, his range on full display here. From guttural lows to demonic highs, anyone who’s attempted a cover of this song will appreciate the technical prowess he effortlessly exudes.
Plus the end refrain is:
“We are the diseased,”
Which feels pretty apt, all things considered.
Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees (Craig)
‘Unprecedented’ and ‘strange times’ are phrases that have been said a lot over the last few weeks (I’ve turned it into a drinking game, I’m constantly drunk because of it). I’m someone who is always trying to find the humour in every situation and listening to Bee Gees by myself as these four walls slowly close in on me, I find myself thinking at least I can agree with Barry, Robin, and Maurice that I am indeed Stayin’ Alive. Just.
Fever – Aerosmith (Dobbie)
Let’s not sugar coat it – if you’re unlucky, or if you just straight up don’t do what you’re supposed to be doing during this time of lockdown and quarantine, you might end up getting COVID-19 yourself. Of course, the troubling thing about the virus is that it could take a couple of weeks before symptoms start showing, and one of those symptoms is having a fever – look, it’s a little tenuous but it could have been far worse. Whilst the title of this song makes it more than fit for purpose already, it’s the final line of the chorus that’s really hitting home for me at the moment – “Yeah we’re all here, because we’re not all there tonight”. Yes, realistically it’s used to suggest a mind that isn’t fully functional i.e. ‘he’s not all there’, but when taken literally we can link it to all of us being at home (all here) and not being outside (all there). Ok, maybe that was also rather tenuous…
Get Inside – Stone Sour (Tom)
Stone Sour might be dancing ever closer to ‘Dad Rock’ classification with every release, but their debut, self-titled album will forever be a seminal hard rock classic. The opening track of which is “Get Inside”, in which vocalist Corey Taylor repeatedly tells you to get inside, advice that we all need to take.
While Slipknot’s early releases were forged from pure adolescent frustration, Stone Sour provided something much more reserved and measured. It’s still angry, but in a much more introspective, methodical way, combining more melodic elements and sombre lyrical themes. “Get Inside” falls more on the violent end of the spectrum, but I’d implore anyone interested to check out the entire album to truly enjoy the song in the context of the wider piece.
One Weird Tip – Lemon Demon (Neale)
Despite facing an unprecedented crisis in which the word certainty seems to have lost all meaning, the people sending me spam emails haven’t let up at all. In fact I don’t think my spam filter was quite prepared for the barrage of “50% Off SafeMask, Breathe Easy & Protected!” emails I’ve been inundated with. Apparently economic collapse and unyielding disease isn’t enough to stop these people from trying.
If I had to guess, I think they’d still be making bots to send these out long after humans have disappeared.
Blow Up The Outside World – Soundgarden (Dobbie)
Ok, the apocalypse has arrived and we’re all somehow struggling through the end times. There’s likely a lot of us who think we could survive to some degree were the apocalypse to come, but even if we did there’s no getting around the fact it would be an awfully glum time. This song, then, is very fitting. The title says it all and can be taken a couple of ways – it’s entirely possible that in trying to eradicate a virus or some other threat, the world could potentially be bombed or blown up (go with me on this please), leaving some of us behind to potentially restart and rebuild society. It could also be taken as a method of struggling to deal with the apocalypse you now live in – this isn’t a life worth living, perhaps we should just blow the world up and be done with it. Look, just enjoy the song ok.
This is the Place – Tom Grennan (Craig)
“Wish that I was somewhere with you”. This single line encapsulates how many of us feel right now. There are many loved ones: partners, uncles, aunts, grandparents, etc. that we cannot see, instead of getting depressed that we can’t see one another, put this song on and remember the positive times you’ve had with them because they will happen again. UDS promises it.
The Future Is Dead – Jamie Lenman (Tom)
A very recent entry, only releasing this past March, Jamie Lenman’s “The Future is Dead” is a BOP. Featuring guest vocals from London based MC Illaman (of the brilliantly named group PENGSHUi), it’s the most politically charged track Mr Lenman has ever released. Rueing the state of the world, it’s a cathartic stream of consciousness that needs to be cranked up to 11 to be enjoyed properly.
It’s clear to see the influence of Rage Against The Machine here, which is never a bad thing, and it’s great to hear that energy reinvented for a new decade.
Burning Bright (Field On Fire) – Nine Inch Nails (Dobbie)
I’m sure there are many songs based on the idea of apocalypse that do it justice and are excellent. I wouldn’t say this song is necessarily about anything like that, but it is truly excellent and the visuals it conjures in my head are so vivid and apocalyptic that it’d be remiss of me not to include this song. You might REALLY have to go with me on this one for the visual, but the sound of the song should be more than enough to warrant its place. When I hear this song, I can’t help but picture myself in an empty stadium at night time, I can see destroyed skyscrapers and such still somehow towering and smoking in the distance. The entrances to the stadium are barricaded, but are throbbing with the push of whatever’s outside trying to get in. As we reach the first chorus, the doors are broken down, leaving me and whoever else I’ve decided to imagine that day having to fend off the attack, knowing full well how futile the resistance will be. It could be zombies, aliens, whatever you want. Trust me on this one, listen in a dark room and just visualise it – if you can’t find the vibe, then I’m sorry but your imagination must not work properly.
Sick as a Dog – Aerosmith (Craig)
Thank you Steven Tyler for everything you have done. This song will definitely get stuck in your brain whilst you are stuck in the house, perhaps don’t listen to it.
Terminator 2: Judgement Day Theme – Brad Fiedel (Neale)
This foreboding track will be playing everywhere – you’ll hear it blasing from your local nursery, supermarket, nuclear bunker, even your own head. It’s going to be impossible to drown it out. You’ll stop thinking about it at one point, and as soon as you realise you’ve stopped thinking about it, you’ll start hearing it again.
The drum, the drum, THE DRUM!
Just like the titular villain, this song stalks its prey. It never stops. It’s always following you. It’s absolutely unrelenting. There is no escape from the Terminator 2: Judgement Day theme. It’s omnipresent. Just when you think you’re safe from it is exactly when you’re most vulnerable.