The Weekly Wire playlist is still roaring, packed with 50 new songs each week and, here, we're recapping the Best Rock + Metal Songs of the Month for February with a mix of essential songs and choice selections from the Loudwire staff. Maybe you'll even discover a new band that rules!

ESSENTIAL SONGS

You know these bands and you probably heard these songs the instant they came out — midnight Spotify lurkers, we see you...

AFI, “Begging for Trouble”
Alice Cooper, “Social Debris”
Andrew W.K., “Babalon”
Architects, “Meteor”
Butcher Babies, “Yorktown”
Cannibal Corpse, “Inhumane Harvest”
Chevelle, “Remember When”
Citizen, "Blue Sunday"
Death From Above 1979, “One + One”
Dropkick Murphys, “Middle Finger”
Every Time I Die, “AWOL”
Eyehategod, “Circle of Nerves”
Gojira, “Born for One Thing”
Green Day, “Here Comes The Shock”
Greta Van Fleet, “Heat Above”
Lacey Sturm, “State of Me”
Lamb of God, “Ghost Shaped People”
Mammoth WVH, “You’re to Blame”
Myles Kennedy, “In Stride”
NOFX, “Fuck Euphemism”
Of Mice & Men, “Timeless”
The Offspring, “Let the Bad Times Roll”
Papa Roach, “Broken As Me” Feat. Danny Worsnop
The Pretty Reckless, “Only Love Can Save Me Now”
Serj Tankian, “Elasticity”
While She Sleeps, “You Are All I Need”
‘68, “Bad Bite”

Follow the 'Best of the Month' playlist on Spotify here.

STAFF PICKS

The stuff Loudwire's team has been obsessed with.

Graham Hartmann

BAND: Scarlxrd
SONG: “APXCALYPSE”
RELEASED: Feb. 4

Trap metal phenom Scarlxrd is back with his long-awaited sequel to his heaviest album, Dxxm. “APXCALYPSE” is one of the standout tracks from Dxxm 2, beginning with a filthy guitar lead under Scar’s vicious screams and signature rhyming patterns. You’re gonna “feel like shit” after blasting another banger from the British genremasher.

BAND: Dordeduh
SONG: “Desferecat”
RELEASED: Feb. 16

Metal is a universal language, which is why Romanian sounds so damn good over big riffs. Meaning “unchained,” the fresh, yet ancient track “Desferecat” blends doom-laden riffs over Romanian folk influence and olde world percussion. Highly recommended for fans of Batushka or Opeth, Dordeduh is perfect for deep winter listening.

Lauryn Schaffner

BAND: Ayron Jones
SONG: “Mercy”
RELEASED: Feb. 5

Ayron Jones broke through in 2020 with his debut single “Take Me Away,” and now he’s back to dominate 2021 with “Mercy.” A powerful track about inequality and social injustice combined with gritty vocals and infectious riffs makes for a song you won’t be able to get out of your head, nor will you want to.

BAND: The Blue Stones
SONG: “Spirit”
RELEASED: Feb. 5

The Blue Stones pack a strong punch for a duo. Their latest single “Spirit” is a bluesy, fuzzy anthem with psychedelic components that’ll make you wonder what decade it was really released in but yearning to hear more.

BAND: Santa Cruz
SONG: “Moonchild”
RELEASED: Feb. 19

No, those aren’t wolves howling in Santa Cruz’s newest hit “Moonchild” — that’s just frontman Archie Cruz hitting excruciatingly high notes. “Moonchild” offers a nice sonic contrast from its poppy verses to the heavy, distorted choruses that follow.

Joe DiVita 

BAND: Sanguisugabogg
SONG: “Dick Filet”
RELEASED: Feb. 19

I wrote about these Columbus, Ohio, brutalizers last month and they’re back again with “Dick Filet,” a sound about torturing a pedophile and feeding him his own dick after grilling it, naturally. Of the three singles they’ve released off their Tortured Whole debut, this one is my favorite — it’s got a slimy groove and some real nasty transitions all hinging on Cody Davidson’s tumbling fills.

BAND: Mythic Sunship
SONG: “Maelstrom”
RELEASED: Feb. 4

This feels like I just dropped the needle at any point on Hawkwind’s beloved live album/aural spaceship, Space Ritual — and that’s a good thing. A great thing, in fact! The prominent use of the saxophone would make Nik Turner blush and is a fantastic touch that softens the sensory overload of the absolutely ripping astral jam session that is Mythic Sunship’s “Maelstrom.”

BAND: Icon of Sin
SONG: “Shadow Dancer”
RELEASED: Feb. 8

No, that is not Bruce Dickinson singing. Pretty damn impressive though, right? Anyone who knows me knows my obsession with Iron Maiden is a deep one with some of Bruce’s solo work not far behind. Nobody has listened to Accident of Birth more than me — so, trust me, I am familiar with every slight nuance of what he does. What singer Raphael Mendes accomplishes with his band, Icon of Sin, and their first single, “Shadow Dancer,” goes far, far beyond just imitation. The wheel is pretty damn perfect, so all anyone needs to do is keep the car on the road. This is everything anyone could ask of vintage-styled heavy metal and the voice is a cherry-topper for any Maiden die-hard.

Rabab Al-Sharif

BAND: Capra
SONG: “The Locust Preacher”
RELEASED: Feb. 3

On April 23, Capra will release their debut full-length, In Transmission, via Blacklight Media / Metal Blade Records, and “The Locust Preacher” is just their first offering from this impending collection. Both dark and self-reflective, the track feels like a sonic representation of spending 72 hours straight awake. If chaotic and thoughtful harcore punk a la Converge and Every Time I Die is in your wheelhouse, then you’ll definitely want to give this Louisianna hardcore band a shot.

BAND: Lilith Czar
SONG: “King”
RELEASED: Feb. 19

There’s always been something special about Juliet Simms. Even in its most quiet moments, her voice holds so much power. But after years of feeling held back, Juliet is gone and from her ashes has emerged the alter ego Lilith Czar. But watching this music video and hearing this first track, there’s no doubt Czar has found power in a sexy blend of pop and rock, and definitely isn’t waiting for anyone to crown her King.

BAND: Hail The Sun
SONG: “Parasitic Cleanse”
RELEASED: Feb. 19

If you are a lover of post-hardcore then chances are you’re already quite familiar with Hail The Sun who are prepping for the release of their fifth album New Age Filth, due April 26. If they are new to you, “Parasitic Cleanse” is a wonderful introduction to the band’s technical, yet accessible approach to writing songs that are both heavy and catchy as hell.

Chad Childers

BAND: Black River Delta
SONG: “Burning and Burning”
RELEASED: Feb. 12

It’s time to take note of these Swedish blues rockers! Black River Delta make your ears stand at attention with their squawking guitars and bluesy slide mastery, all while giving you a gritty head-nodder with an infectious beat. Turn this one up and rock it out with the windows down as you speed across the highway!

BAND: Eve 6
SONG: “black nova”
RELEASED: Feb. 4

Opening with some fat bass, fuzzed out guitar and a highly danceable beat, we dare you to sit still through this one. It’s a pulse-pushing rocker that unspools into an anthemic chorus that invites the listener to sing along.

BAND: Smith / Kotzen
SONG: “Scars”
RELEASED: Feb. 24

The Iron Maiden and Winery Dogs guitarists collaborate on a new song that has a decidedly blues feel to it, but given the fretboard prowess of both musicians, it should come as no surprise that “Scars” has some blistering riffs as well. Smith’s more weathered vocal works perfectly in setting up Kotzen’s power, laying the groundwork for what evolved into this bluesy jam.

BAND: Tonic
SONG: “To Be Loved”
RELEASED: Feb. 11

Welcome back Tonic! The Emerson Hart-led band that gave us ‘90s rock radio favorites “If You Could Only See” and “You Wanted More” have returned with another radio-ready single. With some muscular guitar riffs giving way to more melodic and soaring verses, Tonic are once again hitting the sweet spot with “To Be Loved.”

Toni Gonzalez

BAND: Trippie Redd ft Chino Moreno
SONG: “Geronimo”
RELEASED: February 19

I should lead with two things on this one: Chino Moreno can do no wrong in
my eyes, and any song that is going to expose his magic to more ear
holes is a win. It's a bonus that this sounds like a Deftones track.
Not familiar with Trippie Redd's past work, but I think it's cool that
the rapper is experimenting with a rock album and he literally got the
best man for the job.

Philip Trapp

BAND: Fallstar
SONG: "When Justice Cracks the Sky"
RELEASED: Feb. 12

Preachcore lives! Facedown Records remains the go-to label for finding the best faith-based metalcore acts, and 2021 kicks off with Fallstar, a band of Pacific Northwesterners doing the thing as good as any other group today. The act's growly "When Justice Cracks the Sky" takes a sobering look at humanity's Sisyphus-like search for equality. Plus, it just plain rocks.

BAND: Krokus
SONG: "Quinn the Eskimo" (Live at Wacken Open Air 2019)
RELEASED: Feb. 19

On their 2017 covers album Big Rocks, veteran Swiss "Long Stick Goes Boom" rockers Krokus included a blistering take on Bob Dylan's folky drug ode "Quinn the Eskimo." The band used that re-fueled rendition to close out their performance at 2019's Wacken Open Air, the entire set of which is now available as the Adios Amigos: Live @ Wacken album. (Krokus plan to retire from touring after an ongoing farewell jaunt.) Pay attention for the extended vamp on UFO's "Rock Bottom" at the end — you can really feel the show-closing excitement.

BAND: Melvins
SONG: "1 Fuck You"
RELEASED: Feb. 12

Have the Melvins ever really been ones for subtlety? But their prolific expletive use in the sludgy grunge forefathers' "1 Fuck You" isn't exactly of their own design — the idea originates from Harry Nilsson's "You're Breakin' My Heart," the late singer-songwriter's 1972 number that Buzz Osbourne and co. here remake in their image. (The tune's from the band's latest album, February's Working With God.) Who'd expect any less from the Melvins?!

70 Best Rock + Metal Albums of 2020

 

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