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November 1, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
Known for humorous and eye-opening lyrics that criticize capitalism and hegemony, The Coup has made a name for itself among political junkies. The group’s newest album, Sorry to Bother You, its seventh since the group was founded in 1990, came out just in time for Tuesday’s presidential election. The release’s timing seems more of a strategy than random chance with the band spouting Marxist and socialist views. The lead single, “The Magic Clap,” features a soulful sound with a robust bass line and emcee Boots Riley’s take on an FBI interrogation. Riley raps, “Tell Homeland Security we are the bomb,” proving The Coup’s political and humorous lyrics will still be featured on its latest record. Sonically, the group has traded its bombastic production for the live instrumentation of a full-on backing band; it’s a funk-rock-rap fusion akin to OutKast’s The Love Below. Riley’s rhymes are still pointed and aggressive, but the overall mood is upbeat, cheerful and highly danceable.
With technical guitar work and politically charged lyrics, Megadeth gained a significant following in the heavy metal community after forming in 1983. Frontman Dave Mustaine speaks of topics such as world peace, reducing animal cruelty and the downfall of political ideology. In the song “Ashes in Your Mouth,” Mustaine touches on the negative effects of war and its aftermath. He sings, “Sorrow paid for valor is too much to recall of the countless corpses piled up along the wailing wall.” These leftist, socio-political ideas pervaded 1992’s Countdown to Extinction, which will be reissued on Tuesday.
In contrast to the album’s lyrical content, Mustaine’s endorsement of presidential candidate Rick Santorum and overwhelming dissatisfaction with President Barack Obama’s first term performance came as a surprise to fans. This reissue comes at a time when Mustaine’s words will be most relevant, but which way will the audience perceive his message?