The Weekly Wire playlist is taking it's once a month detour from recapping the newest rock and metal songs of the week once a month to bring you not only the best August 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!

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THE ESSENTIALS

You know these bands and you probably heard these songs the instant they came out — midnight Spotify lurkers, we see you. Waiting for these is the only thing that keeps you going in 2020.

Alter Bridge, “Native Son” (live)
Armored Saint, “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants”
Black Stone Cherry, “Ringin’ In My Head”
Bring Me the Horizon Feat. Yungblud, “Obey”
Carcass, “The Long and Winding Bier Road”
Corey Taylor, “HWY 666”
Deftones, “Genesis”
Disturbed, “If I Ever Lose My Faith In You”
Five Finger Death Punch, “Wrong Side of Heaven” (acoustic)
Hatebreed, “Weight of the False Self”
Hollywood Undead, “Coming Home”
Killer Be Killed, “Deconstructing Self-Destruction”
Marilyn Manson, “Don’t Chase the Dead”
Mr. Bungle, “Eracist”
Puscifer, “The Underwhelming”
Rise Against, “Broken Dreams, Inc.”
Smashing Pumpkins, “Confessions of a Dopamine Addict”

Follow the Weekly Wire playlist on Spotify here.

STAFF PICKS

The stuff Loudwire's team has been obsessed with.

Rabab Al-Sharif

BAND: Afterlife
SONG: “Wasting Time”
HQ: West Palm Beach, Florida
RELEASED: Sept. 16

Afterlife weren’t afraid to broach difficult topics on their 2019 debut Breaking Point, and that fearless and unguarded spirit remains on their first taste of new music since that release, “Wasting Time.” Mixing screaming with singing and rapping, the raw vocals add another layer of vulnerability to the track while the music will leave you wanting to tear it up. Listen, shit sucks this year, and this track is at the perfect intersection of metalcore and nu-metal for you to bounce and scream your frustrations away.

BAND: Alpha Wolf
SONG: “Restricted”
HQ: Melbourne, Australia
RELEASED: Sept. 17

Alpha Wolf just dropped their excellent second album A Quiet Place To Die, which is like experiencing a tasting menu for an unpretentious fan of heavy music. The whole album will leave you feeling full, but for the purpose of this exercise we’re going to recommend you check out their latest single, the brutal in every way “Restricted (R18+)” along with its intense and jarring music video. Also, listen to “Don’t Ask...” while you’re at it.

BAND: Salem
SONG: “Destroy Me”
HQ: U.K.
RELEASED: Sept. 28

This is the first offering from Salem — the new project of Creeper vocalist Will Gould with Matt Reynolds — and it's exactly the upbeat, spooky love song horror punk fans needed to rejuvenate them in 2020. The song is reminiscent of Creeper’s early EPs, and the project gives Gould a chance to create some fun and romantic music outside of the sweeping narratives of the Creeper world. This song will be haunting me throughout the spooky season and beyond.

Toni Gonzalez

BAND: Smith & Myers
HQ: Jacksonville, Fla.
SONG: “Bad At Love”
RELEASED: Sept. 25

If you're a fan of Shinedown then you already know Brent Smith and Zach Myers always deliver the goods, and that streak continues with Smith & Myers new song “Bad At Love.” The duo has evolved beyond just covers on their forthcoming, Smith & Myers, Vol. 2 collection making earholes happy along the way. It also gives us some insight into Brent's romantic relationships (his words), and will most likely conjure up some memories of your own.

BAND: The Violent
HQ: USA
SONG: “Smile Like A Hostage”
RELEASED: Sept. 3

Speaking of bands giving us their second offering of new music, The Violent are back with “Smile Like A Hostage.” The song is a dark hyperballad that proves there is life after Red Sun Rising for Mike Protich and co. It may not be as sunny, but it sure is good.

Graham Hartmann

BAND: Ghostemane
SONG: “AI”
HQ: Lake Worth, Fla.
RELEASED: Aug. 27 (fight me)

Ghostemane continues the osmosis of hip-hop and metal with his catchy, Tim Burton-esque “AI.” With a horror soundscape made for Halloween, the gothic rapper breaks down his many vocal styles before delving into a crushing breakdown, keeping modern metal alive in one of the most unlikely places imaginable.

BAND: Tallah
SONG: “L.E.D.”
HQ: Philadelphia. Penn.
RELEASED: Sept. 11

This is what modern metal needs to sound like... bizarre cybernetic leads, experimental vocal styles, killer musicianship and grooves for days. The young nu-core band take the best aspects of nu-metal and blend it together with the new era of metallic metalcore, beating the listener down with wild dynamic shifts and filthy breakdowns.

BAND: Nothing
SONG: “Bernie Sanders”
HQ: Philadelphia, PA
RELEASED: Sept. 29

The lyrics to this song are a little too vague to outright label this a pro or anti-Bernie anthem, but the title did it’s job in getting me to click play. This cut from Nothing is chill af while exploring themes of humanity, isolation and extinction. 2020 in a nutshell.

Chad Childers

BAND: Richie Kotzen
SONG: “Raise the Cain”
HQ: Pennsylvania
RELEASED: Sept. 23

The pandemic has put musicians in a do-or-don’t situation when it comes to releasing music, and it would have been easy for Richie Kotzen to be satisfied after issuing a 50-song collection for his 50th birthday earlier this year, but thankfully he decided to unveil “Raise the Cain” earlier in September. This bluesy rock gem not only allows for some cool sounding guitar effects and soaring vocals from Kotzen, but he also welcomes his Winery Dogs bandmate Mike Portnoy in to deliver some nimble drumming to keep the track lively. “I wanna hear your voice / Raise the cain / I wanna hear your voice / Raise the cain tonight,” implores Kotzen. This track is definitely worth doing so for.

BAND: Novatines
SONG: “Honey”
HQ: Bath, England
Released: Sept. 30

There’s a very cool energy about the U.K. four-piece Novatines, bringing guitar-rock back into the spotlight. The opening chugging guitar in “Honey” breaks off a bit of honking horn beat, steadily picking up steam heading into a feverish chorus accentuated by the raspy, attitude-filled vocal of singer/guitarist Jamie Beale. Beale says the track is about “seeing through fads, trends and short lived ‘next big things’ with no real substance. We live in such a throw-away culture where we are told what we should like or dislike 24 hours a day, seven days a week. ‘Honey’ is about taking yourself off of the conveyor belt and seeing things as they are.” So do yourself a favor, don’t take our word (okay maybe just a little), test “Honey” out for yourself and let that help guide you.

BAND: Pixies
SONG: “Hear Me Out”
HQ: Boston, Mass.
RELEASED: Sept. 24

Pixies are back with their first new music since 2019’s Beneath the Eyrie album, having bassist Paz Lenchantin step up to the mic to lead their new song, “Hear Me Out.” The band has a history of standout female vocals accentuating what Frank Black and the band deliver, and with Kim Deal long since exiting the band, Lenchantin has picked up the tradition quite well. Her vocals lend an almost hypnotic vibe to the song, which plays out over the at times catchy, other times commanding guitar work of Joey Santiago. “‘Hear Me Out’ is about things not turning out the way we hoped, but knowing that it’s going to be okay regardless,” says Lenchantin. “The song has an evocative melody that inspired the lyrics to come out straight away.” “Hear Me Out” stands out as one of the better songs of the Pixies’ second era.

BAND: Royal Blood
SONG: “Trouble’s Coming”
HQ: Brighton, England
RELEASED: Sept. 24

Royal Blood, a dance band? The U.K. duo known for sharp riffs and a killer beat have teased that they’ve really found the “groove” on their upcoming third album. The first indication of that is the killer new track “Trouble’s Coming,” which while maintaining its rock presence, has a beat that could subconsciously lead you to start dancing. Citing influences such as Daft Punk and Justice, singer/bassist Mike Kerr reveals that things started to really click once they added the dance beats. “The breakthrough was realizing that there was real common ground between that and what we’d done before. It’s that AC/DC aspect, where the quality makes the riff seem so cutting is because of that beat.” Go ahead, we dare you not to move to the groove while enjoying the slab of rock.

Lauryn Schaffner

BAND: Ocean Hills
SONG: “Bound”
HQ: Los Angeles, Calif.
RELEASED: Sept. 25

Ocean Hills are a new rock band formed by vocalist Zoli Teglas. If you’re a fan of groups like Shinedown, you’ll like their latest drop “Bounds,” which is a melodic rocker with impressive vocals. Their upcoming album Santa Monica is due for release sometime in November, and we’d be surprised not to hear the tracks making their way onto the rock radio charts.

BAND: Them Evils
SONG: "Coattails"
HQ: Orange County, Calif.
RELEASED: Sept. 25

Them Evils have always put out fuzzy, bluesy rock that you can’t help but dance along to, and their latest single “Coattails” fits right in with the rest of their catalog. However, it’s a definite step forward for the group both sonically and lyrically, which builds the anticipation for their next studio release.

BAND: Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown
SONG: "Holdin’ My Breath"
HQ: Nashville, Tenn.
RELEASED: Sept. 25

Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown have now made this list two months in a row, so it’s clear they’re delivering the goods with their new singles. The second release from their upcoming album Pressure, “Holdin’ My Breath” is a deep and moody track, which is a stark contrast to lead single “Crazy Days” — but we welcome contrast with open arms. It’s still the familiar bluesy sound we’re used to hearing from TBSD, but new and refreshing all in the same. They even recruited fellow southern rocker Charlie Starr of Blackberry Smoke to give the track a little extra twang.

Joe DiVita

BAND: Dark Tranquillity
SONG: “Phantom Days”
HQ: Gothenburg, Sweden
RELEASED: Sept. 11

Change is a part of any band — it’s how they handle that change that defines them, for better or for worse. In the case of melodeath mainstays Dark Tranquillity, it’s clear on “Phantom Days” that their pair of new guitarists has paid handsome dividends. I’m unreasonably particular with my melodeath, but this song hits all the sweet spots — shimmering, melodic guitar hooks, dynamic songwriting with two-stepping urgency over the verse and Mikael Stanne’s visceral yet intelligible death snarl. “Phantom Days” has me the most excited I’ve been since 2007’s Fiction album.

BAND: Frozen Soul
SONG: “Crypt of Ice”
HQ: Fort Worth, Texas
RELEASED: Sept. 25

Death metal in the 21st century has been rather cyclical. After the tech-death uprising came Incantation clones, which later gave way to hardcore-crossed Swedish death metal worship. Frozen Soul, hailing from the metal hotbed of Texas, are hopefully leading the charge for a wave of Realms of Chaos-era Bolt Thrower devotion and a fresh lyrical direction for death metal — ice. These riffs hit like an ice shelf collapsing into the ocean (which is happening a lot more these days because global warming is pretty fucking real despite what you may have read through confirmation-biased reporting) and we’re ready to take the plunge into the chilling waters below.

BAND: Sodom
SONG: “Sodom and Gomorrah”
HQ: Gelsenkirchen, Germany
RELEASED: Sept. 25

As someone who has always found the German thrash scene to be considerably more pummeling than the exports from the U.S. (or anywhere else), new music from Sodom makes for a better than average day (“guten tag,” if you will). On “Sodom and Gomorrah,” the band plays to their early sound, which was marked by first wave black metal overtones. With classic guitarist Frank Blackfire in tow, everything about this screams vintage Sodom and I’m screaming too.

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