If there’s anything to love about crappy presidents, it’s the music that punk, alternative, and rock bands make to slam them. In a treat the world hasn’t gotten to experience truly since President Bush, anti-president protest songs and albums are cropping up already.
Ash Bowie, Stephen Malkmus, Carrie Brownstein, Peter Buck, and so many others came together and created this beautiful soundtrack to play on repeat for the next four years — or, as you pack your bags to leave the country.
What makes it all the better is that the album is called Battle Hymns and proceeds are going to organizations which oppose the regime of Trump. According to the official press release, all proceeds will be distributed evenly between Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and 350.org. The album is currently listed for a pay-what-you-want price, but the suggested default price is $20.00.
In the press release, Quasi made no attempts to mask what this album was or stood for. The release of the album came mere hours before the Trump inauguration and they are openly describing it as:
‘…A compilation album created in direct response to the current political situation in the U.S.A – it is a protest record! It will be released digitally on inauguration day in opposition to the incoming administration.’
Then again, based on their song choices, it is fairly evident that from the start they were never going to hide their intent. The generation of politically-driven music often is produced with the intention to spread the opinions of the artists and unite people of those views. The nature of the genre of these songs is too fitting for surviving a Donald Trump presidency as well, as it is chock full of rage.
All of the songs included on the album are new, original pieces. Song lyrics incite revolution and resistance, as well as frustration at the current state of American politics. Mary Timony of Helium has a song which largely consists of “Fight, the hate!” while Mac McCaughan (Superchunk) belts out:
‘Okay, but this could be a great year if you’re rich
Or if you’re a racist craving an authoritarian hand
And the sun will shine on you if you hate women
And then the sun itself will turn us all to sand
Yeah, this year it seemed like nothing really mattered
You could be any horrible thing and rise to the top of this shitheap’
There are truly so many different layers of motivation for protest and distaste for America’s 45th president wrapped up in this album. The song titles themselves are probably the most telling things to go by, without dissecting every song included.
So without further adieu, here’s the complete track listing:
1. Love Always (Kathy Foster) – “We Won’t Go Back”
2. Mac McCaughan – “Happy New Year (Prince Can’t Die Again)”
3. Boss Hog – “Save Our Soul”
4. Stephen Malkmus – “Midnight Cruisers”
5. Drew Grow – “Time Bomb”
6. MEDS (Carrie Brownstein and Katie Harkin) – “No More Fizz”
7. Mary Timony – “Fight The Hate”
8. Quasi – “Ballad of Donald Duck & Elmer Fudd”
9. Libraness (Ash Bowie) – “A Kind of Survival”
10. Filthy Friends (Corin Tucker, Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey, Kurt Bloch, Bill Rieflin) – “Love In The Time of Resistance”
11. Carl Newman – “Our Nero”
12. Rebecca Gates – “NO DIVISION”
13. Doug Martsch – “Fuck 2016”
14. Sean Croghan – “Spider House”
Feature Image screengrab of the Battle Hymns album cover via Quasi.