Best Rock + Metal Songs of February – Staff Favorites + Essentials
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The Weekly Wire playlist is taking its once a month detour from recapping the newest rock and metal songs of the week to bring you not only the best February had to give us, but choice picks from the Loudwire staff so you can dig a bit deeper. Maybe you'll even discover a new band that rules!
You know these bands and you probably heard these songs the instant they came out — midnight Spotify lurkers, we see you. These were the songs that kept February roaring:
Abbath, “Dread Reaver”
Amon Amarth, “Put Your Back Into the Oar”
Animals as Leaders, “Gordian Naught”
Arch Enemy, “Handshake With Hell”
Black Map, “Super Deluxe”
Circa Survive, “Curitiba”
Coheed and Cambria, “The Liars Club”
Corey Taylor, “On the Dark Side”
Dark Funeral, “Nightfall”
Destruction, “No Faith in Humanity”
Dream Widow, “March of the Insane”
Ed Sheeran, “Bad Habits” ft. Bring Me the Horizon
Halestorm, “The Steeple”
Ibaraki, “Akumu” ft. Nergal
Jack White, “Fear of Dawn”
Korn, “Lost in the Grandeur”
Kreator, “Hate Über Alles”
Machine Gun Kelly, “Emo Girl” ft. Willow
Memphis May Fire, “Make Believe”
Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Black Summer”
Sabaton, “The Unkillable Soldier”
Scorpions, “Seventh Sun”
The Devil Wears Prada, “Watchtower”
Three Days Grace, “Neurotic” ft. Lukas Rossi
Underoath, “Hallelujah” ft. Charlotte Sands
Vio-Lence, “Let the World Burn”
Watain, “The Howling”
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The stuff Loudwire's team has been obsessed with.
BAND: Grace McKagan
SONG: “Baby That’s Rock N Roll”
RELEASED: Feb. 18
Grace McKagan’s solo venture continues with a new track titled “Baby That’s Rock N Roll.” The catchy melody, fuzzy effects and airy vocals — which are reminiscent of The Go-Go’s — make it the perfect summer anthem to cruise along to down by the beach.
BAND: Goodbye June
SONG: “Three Chords”
RELEASED: Feb. 8
Some of the best rock ‘n’ roll songs in history were made with three chords, proving that sometimes, less is more. Goodbye June are one of the younger bands today that are keeping the classic rock sound alive, and their latest endeavor “Three Chords” is a celebration of the raw power that the greats became known for.
BAND: Sometimes Y (Yelawolf + Shooter Jennings)
SONG: “Rock & Roll Baby”
RELEASED: Feb. 11
Yelawolf and Shooter Jennings may not have seemed like a likely duo before, given their very different musical backgrounds, but they proved that they were serious about making a rock record with their first single “Make Me a Believer.” Its follow-up, titled “Rock & Roll Baby,” is a slower track with more of a psychedelic flavor and some dark lyrical content. The duality of the two songs shows their versatility as collaborators, and has me looking forward to what’s to come next from them.
SONG: “Name Them Yet Build No Monument”
RELEASED: Feb. 16
On March 4, progressive blackened death metal battalion Hath will release their second album, All That Was Promised, on long-standing home for extremity, Willowtip Records. The blackened death metal field can sometimes feel bogged down by predictable sounds and songwriting, but this New Jersey-based four-piece expertly intertwines melodic motifs with blast-led fury on the third single, “Name Them Yet Build No Monument,” which carries off into the distance with a plodding atmospheric stretch that closes out not just this fantastic track. But the album altogether, leaves behind smoldering ruin.
SONG: “Burning Portrait””
RELEASED: Feb. 9
NWOBHM cult favorites Satan (who doesn’t love an upfront name like that?) are back with Earth Infernal, the fourth album since their 2011 reunion and sixth overall. It’s been a remarkable run over the last decade as the band remains true not just to their original style, but in terms of production as well, which would have any novice mistaking this latest string of releases for lost recordings from the early ‘80s. “Burning Portrait” is pure, textbook heavy metal the way ye olde gods used to make it. Here’s to the old school!
SONG: “Head Splattered in Seven Ways”
RELEASED: Feb. 16
I wrote about Undeath last month after they debuted “Rise From the Grave” off what will be their second record, It’s Time… To Rise From the Grave. Now, the fellas who are laying down some of the finest old school death metal of today, unfurled “Head Splattered in Seven Ways,” with a gory as hell video to go with it. Death metal today is as exciting as ever, regardless of what Chris Barnes thinks.
Released: Feb. 24
Although I’m not a huge fan of “screamo,” there is something about Shane Told’s voice that lends itself to a cool narrative in “Ultraviolet.” These veteran Canadian rockers do a crafty job of being tightly in control while describing being completely out of control. Melodic verses and a real catchy chorus make a nice journey to the sick guitar riff during the bridge and outro (that is the real star for me.) Is Shane shouting about electroshock therapy? Lovely.
Band: Nova Twins
Released: Feb. 9
London childhood friends Amy and Georgia are the Nova Twins. Their style is hard to quantify with parts electro punk, metal and heavy bass. Add to this eclectic mix some vocals that sound like they are lightly scolding a child and you get “K.M.B.,” which stands for “Kill My Boyfriend.” Cute! They play the villains to the hilt here with a revenge fantasy that’s dripping with blood. Enjoy the trip to the graveyard.
BAND: Holy Wars
SONG: “21st Century Bitch”
RELEASED: Feb. 27
Who says rock music can’t be incredibly catchy? Holy Wars, the duo of Kat Leon and Nick Perez, may have flown under your radar before, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. Their latest track, “21st Century Bitch,” is a driving, empowering rocker that is guaranteed to make you want to dance. Plus, you’ll feel like you can be any bitch you want to be and isn’t that really the dream?
SONG: “Thoughts and Prayers”
RELEASED: Feb. 15
Fans of straight edge hardcore are real pumped about Inclination, and it’s easy to see why. This song absolutely rips. But even if you aren’t edge, any socially conscious human being can appreciate the message behind “Thoughts and Prayers” now more than ever. So if you’re a fan of dancing in the pit and/or also want to flip off every politician who spouts bullshit about thoughts and prayers while never actually doing anything (so, like, pretty much all of them) then crank it up.
RELEASED: Feb. 16
Here’s a fresh new voice to keep an ear out for. Already generating some buzz in her native U.K., Cassyette may have first garnered notice stateside collaborating with Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes on last year’s high energy rocker “Off With His Head.” Now showcasing more of her talents, both as a singer and songwriter, Cassyette turns the chaos of a relationship falling apart into a catchy, anthemic earworm you’ll want to put on repeat with her latest single “Mayhem.”
BAND: Fontaines D.C.
SONG: “I Love You”
RELEASED: Feb. 17
Is there any love better than a dark, tortured love? From a musical standpoint, that’s debatable, but the slow burn unburdening of a blackened heart on Fontaines D.C.’s “I Love You” certainly grabbed my attention earlier this month. The post-punk Irish five-piece first popped on my radar with their excellent 2020 sophomore set A Hero’s Death, and they should be on your radar as their third album Skinty Fia draws closer to its April 22 release. With classic Cure-esque bass lines and a steadily intensifying vocal from Grian Chatten, “I Love You” should command your attention.
BAND: Ghost Hounds
SONG: “Baby We’re Through”
RELEASED: Feb. 24
The latest from Pittsburgh’s Ghost Hounds was a reminder that we don’t necessarily hear as much great blues rock as we should these days. “Baby We’re Through,” as you might expect by the title, is about the crumbling of a relationship, but it’s filled with undeniable groove and swagger. There’s a bit of ZZ Top swing in this barnburner and the combination of Tre Nation’s whiskey-soaked rasp and some nifty keyboard work puts this in my book as a heartbreak jam to revel in on repeat. And if they’re good enough to land open spots for Bob Seger and the Rolling Stones, you might want to see what’s up with this blues rock sextet.
SONG: “Pretty Mouth”
RELEASED: Feb. 2
The pop-punk-aissance is upon us, with a whole new generation of pop-punk acts battling for attention. One that you should check out is Girlfriends, the duo featuring Travis Mills and Nick Gross. Issuing two new tracks earlier this month, we’re going with “Pretty Mouth” as our jam. While the song wallows in feelings of alienation from a love match turned nightmarish, it’s hard to feel too bad when that anguish is repurposed as an infinitely catchy cathartic release.
BAND: LØLØ featuring Maggie Lindemann
SONG: “debbie downer”
RELEASED: Feb. 10
Turn it up, close your eyes and let LØLØ and Maggie Lindemann transport you back to the early 2000s. It was a time when Bring It On was lighting up the box office and inspiring a young LØLØ, who tosses some nods to the Kirsten Dunst flick in her pop-punk song “debbie downer.” High school can be a trying time, especially for those who don’t quite fit in, but with catchy songs like this, it can turn that frown into something decidedly more defiant and liberating.
BAND: Liam Gallagher
SONG: “Everything's Electric”
RELEASED: Feb. 4
Liam Gallagher recently shared that he would "love" for Oasis to reunite, but until that happens he's kept busy readying his upcoming third solo album C'MON YOU KNOW. The first offering from the upcoming record is "Everything's Electric," and it features the song's co-writer Dave Grohl on drums. Maybe it's the Oasis lover in me, but his voice just takes me back to the ‘90s — a voice that sounds as good as ever. We've been playing it on Loudwire Nights and getting plenty of requests for it, so it seems I'm not the only fan of the track.
BAND: Hollywood Undead
RELEASED: Feb. 24
Hollywood Undead are joining Papa Roach and Bad Wolves on the "Kill The Noise" tour starting today (March 1), and they'll have a new song to play for fans. "CHAOS" is the first single from the band's upcoming eighth studio album, and it's a heavy one. Not only does the song title check out, but the lyrics are about as 2022 as you can get — climate change, war, the blind leading the blind. If you're looking to beef up your workout playlist while you do the same to yourself and enjoy some rap with your rock, this one is a no-brainer.
BAND: The Afghan Whigs
SONG: "I’ll Make You See God"
RELEASED: Feb. 22
Influential alternative act The Afghan Whigs returned this month with the droning and fizzling garage stomper "I'll Make You See God." And though a new Whigs album hasn't been confirmed just yet, the single is the Greg Dulli-led group's first new song in the five years since their 2017 album, In Spades. It's also a resonant reminder of the songwriting power The Afghan Whigs displayed amid the 1990s grunge boom — a strength they undoubtedly still possess after four decades, eight albums, a breakup and a hiatus.
BAND: Stray From the Path
RELEASED: Feb. 22
New York metalcore stalwarts Stray From the Path pull no punches on "Guillotine," the band's latest single that takes their activist stance to new heights. And the tune's abrasive sonics match its pointed message about the growing disparity between rich and poor that's only been bolstered by the pandemic. "This system is broken and it's starting to deteriorate," Stray From the Path said in a statement. "In the end, those people who have headed these companies and viciously exploited the working class during this ordeal should be met with the Guillotine."