5 songs you must hear this week: 28 August 2023

As we barrel towards Labour Day–didn’t we just celebrate May 2-4?–here are five songs you must hear before things get back to normal next week.

1. The Defiant, Dead Language
Single (Cranberry Bog Records)
Recommended If You Like: Alt-rock supergroups

It’s pretty hard to leave music behind after you’ve seen how cool things can be. In the case of Dicky Barrett of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones (d. 2022), he’s not ready to hang it up. Nor are drummer Pete Parada (ex-Offspring), guitarist Greg Camp (ex-Smash Mouth), Johnny Rioux (Street Dogs), and Joey LaRocca (The Brigg). The result is The Defiant, which has a 12-song album ready to go very soon.

2. BABYMETAL, メタり!!feat. Tom Morello
Single (Dog Brothers/Unleashed Music)
RIYL: Whatever the hell it is that BABYMETAL does.

The song’s title translates as Metali and they’ve brought Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello along for the ride, something for which he says he’s extremely grateful. “I am a big fan of Babymetal, a band that is both power rocking and constantly surprising with dizzying musical twists and turns. I’ve been trying to work with them for some time and when they sent me the demo of Metali I knew I could rock that sh*t like crazy!” It’s also the first single with an altered lineup of SU-METAL, MOAMETAL, and MOMOMETAL. There’s a Toronto date coming up September 18.

3. Kevin Drew, Out in the Fields
Aging (Arts & Crafts)
RIYL: Anything to do with Broken Social Scene

Kevin’s new solo album is being led with two songs, this one and Party Oven. Everything was recorded at the Tragically Hip’s studio outside of Kingston with longtime friend Nyles Spencer. In an interesting move, the record will first get a physical release on September 22 with the digital version not coming until November 3. Fun fact: Kevin and Nyles had originally planned to record a children’s album. That did not happen, obviously. Maybe someday.

4. Thirty Seconds to Mars, New Seasons
It’s the End of the World But It’s a Beautiful Day (Concord Records)
RIYL: Lost songs

Thirty Seconds to Mars continue to tease this sixth studio record (it’ll be out on September 15) with a fourth advance single. The band tells us to expect a marked change in their sonic pallet, focusing on straight-from-the-heart vocals. Close your eyes and you can imagine this track being remade as a country song.

5. Problem Patterns, Day & Age
Single (Independent)
RIYL: Incoming rage

This four-piece queer feminist band’s Facebook page describes them as “Bigger than the Beatles, not quite as big as Slipknot.” Hailing from Belfast in Northern Ireland, this could be the fiercest all-female band I’ve heard in some time. Although they’ve been around since 2918, I seem to have missed them until now. A grave error on my part. This song is actually from 2019. Every time they perform it, the lyrics change depending on what’s p*ssing them off.


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