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 January 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 started your 2021 on a high note:

‘68, “The Knife, The Knife, The Knife”
AFI, “Twisted Tongues”
Accept, “Zombie Apocalypse”
Architects, “Dead Butterflies”
As Everything Unfolds, “Wallow”
August Burns Red, “Standing in the Storm”
Bad Religion, “Emancipation Of The Mind”
Chevelle, “Self Destructor”
The Dead Daisies, “Holy Ground”
Eyehategod, “Fake What’s Yours”
Foo Fighters, “Waiting on a War”
Frozen Soul, “Crypt of Ice”
Hyro the Hero featuring Spencer Charnas, “Retaliation Generation”
Liquid Tension Experiment, “The Passage of Time”
Melvins, “The Great Good Place”
Tom Morello & Serj Tankian, “Natural’s Not In It”
Nervosa, “Guided by Evil”
Of Mice & Men, “Obsolete”
The Pretty Reckless, “And So It Went”
Rob Zombie, “The Eternal Struggles of the Howling Man”
Royal Blood, “Typhoons”
Todd La Torre, “Vanguards of the Dawn Wall”
Tribulation, “Funeral Pyre”
Weezer, “All My Favorite Songs”
You Me At Six, “Beautiful Way”

Follow the Weekly Wire playlist on Spotify here.


The stuff Loudwire's team has been obsessed with.

Graham Hartmann

BAND: Gatecreeper
SONG: “Emptiness”

We feel it, boys. From an unexpectedly horrible year comes an expectedly awesome 11-minute cut of mournful metal from Gatecreeper. From their 2021 EP, the Arizona filth merchants pummel their melancholy into the sand with “Emptiness,” pouring buckets of blackened doom riffs onto a hopelessly barren hellscape.

BAND: Genghis Tron
SONG: “Dream Weapon”

Welcome back, Genghis Tron. The New York based experimental metal band just ended a decade-long hiatus, releasing the title track to their third studio album, Dream Weapon. The expansive song is wonderfully atmospheric, driven by pulsating drum work and circular guitar leads. Space the f--k out with this majestic piece of music.

BAND: Orbit Culture
SONG: “Mute the Silent”

What do you get when James Hetfield and Mikael Akerfeldt enroll their lovechild into the Gojira School of Nasty Grooves? Orbit Culture. This pummeling Swedish export masterfully blends thrash, death metal and heavy groove elements into “Mute the Silent,” a killer track that could thrust Orbit Culture into the high ranks of modern metal. Headbanging is permitted.

Lauryn Schaffner

BAND: Chelsea Wolfe & Emma Ruth Rundle
SONG: “Anhedonia”

BAND: Gin Wingmore
SONG: “Woman”

You probably never thought the ‘60s girl group sound would meet alternative rock, in which case you probably haven’t heard Gin Wigmore. Her latest single “Woman” focuses on holding one’s ground after a relationship ends, but it’s not at all somber. It has an addictive, poppy melody that just makes you want to play it on a loop once the three-and-a-half minutes are over. Interestingly, Wigmore also comes from a musical home — Fever 333’s Jason Butler is her husband. Talk about a power couple.

BAND: The Blacklava
SONG: “Eden”

From the opening guitar lick, fans of ‘90s grunge and alternative will be captivated by the Blacklava’s latest single, “Eden.” Enter the distorted vocals and powerhouse chorus, and you’ll soon let go of any ideas for a comparison. The song is slow and feels a bit longer than it really is, but not at all in a bad way. There are different sections and sonic components that keep it refreshing all throughout.

Joe DiVita

BAND: Sanguisugabogg
SONG: “Menstrual Envy”

They say “Cleveland rocks” but Columbus, Ohio, fuckin’ slams.

Another one of Century Media’s pinchings from the Maggot Stomp label, Sanguisugabogg’s quick rise started with the four-track, 11-minute Pornographic Seizures EP and a ton of sick shirt designs everyone rabidly bought up.

“Menstrual Envy” was where the group announced their debut, Tortured Whole was on the horizon. And they did it by cutting a (NSFW) video where their dicks turn into mutants and start eating people. It doesn’t matter what we say about the song — you’re watching that video and then you’ll learn how disgustingly awesome this song is.

BAND: Joel Hoekstra’s 13
SONG: “Finish Line”

Listen, if you want to play some straight up Dio riffs, go for it. Keep Ronnie’s memory alive any way you can.

If you happen to be in Whitesnake (that’d be Joel Hoekstra) and want to recruit Russell Allen (Symphony X), Dio and Sabbath legend Vinny Appice, Tony Franklin (it’ll take a couple hours to cover his credits) and Derek Sherinian (Sons of Apollo, ex-Dream Theater), to help you out, it can only be a cause for immense celebration.

If you like anything fast and heavy from the ‘80s, this is for you.

BAND: Dread Sovereign
SONG: “The Great Beast We Serve”

Alan Averill, who most notably fronts Primordial, could not be more underrated as one of metal’s most genuinely stirring and evocative clean singers. He sounds like a withered prophet who has seen his premonitions of the end ignored too many times by too many generations. With the power trio Dread Sovereign, the focus here on “The Great Beast We Serve” is classic metal bent with ominous doom and a not so rosy outlook on religion. That theme never ages, does it?

Rabab Al-Sharif

BAND: Holding Absence
SONG: “Afterlife”

It’s about damn time the U.S. caught on to Welsh rockers Holding Absence, because these guys know how to write a song. In the second single from their pending sophomore album, The Greatest Mistake of My Life Lucas Woodland’s gravelly vocals soar on an impossibly catchy and emotive track that deserves a place on American radio airwaves.

BAND: Kali Masi
SONG: “Trophy Deer”

One listen to Kali Masi and it’s clear they’re totally a product of the Chicago punk scene. Their new album [laughs] is described as “the best parts of The Gaslight Anthem, The Menzingers and Taking Back Sunday all rolled into one.” If any of this sounds like “your thing” and you don’t already know who this band is you need to stop what you are doing right now and check out their latest single, “Trophy Deer.” Also, get them into your regular rotation stat because they have plenty of dive bar anthems to hold you over until their album drops in March.

BAND: Teenage Wrist
SONG: “Yellowbelly”

Teenage Wrist have been cranking out some straight up jams that honestly should be hits. Listening to them is like getting a sampling of all the best ‘90s bands in one fresh package. This track is definitely brighter than their usual gritty, shoegaze-esque vibe, but just as intoxicating and super catchy. Their new album Earth Is A Black Hole is available Feb. 12 if you’re ready to give your ‘90s nostalgia playlist a rest for something new.

Chad Childers

BAND: Black Crowes
SONG: “Charming Mess”

This one may be three decades old but it shows the timeless quality of the Black Crowes’ music. Word has it that “Charming Mess” was once in consideration to be the Shake Your Money Maker lead single but ended up getting left off the album completely. Thanks to the band’s 30th anniversary reissue, we now finally get to hear this infinitely groovy jam that comes from one of the group’s most fruitful periods.

BAND: Christopher Shayne
SONG: “Ten High”

Kick on back and enjoy! Christopher Shayne’s got you covered with some blues-rock goodness. This anthemic title track will keep your head nodding along throughout!

BAND: Welshly Arms
SONG: “I Will Overcome”

Lord knows January was a trying month in the U.S., but just when some healing was needed, Welshly Arms stepped up and took us to church with this heartfelt plea for a brighter future. The soulful, beat-perfect and choir-backed track hit exactly the right note during a time of divisiveness.

Toni Gonzalez

BAND: Kings Of Leon
SONG: "The Bandit"

Kings of Leon are back; can you use them? I sure can — been a fan for
years and we now know they'll be releasing their eighth studio album
When You See Yourself on March 5. Along with the details of
the record came a new song titled “The Bandit” and depending on which
chart you follow, it's already a success. If you've been a fan of the
band traditionally, this one will not disappoint.

BAND: Escape The Fate (feat. Travis Barker)
SONG: "Not My Problem"
RELEASED: January 8

Is there anyone more productive when it comes to music making than
Travis Barker? I'll wait. One of the drummer's latest collaborations
is with Escape The Fate on their song "Not My Problem" from their
forthcoming album Chemical Warfare. If you need a little
inspiration to distance yourself from abusive people, be sure to check
this one out.

Philip Trapp

BAND: The Body
SONG: "Tied Up and Locked In"

It makes sense that the bleakness of pandemic-induced solitude is cropping up in rock and metal this year, especially on recent tunes from more experimental metalheads. Nowhere is that better epitomized than on "Tied Up and Locked In," the most recent song from doomy tinkerers the Body, whose I've Seen All I Need to See arrives this month. The noisy duo calls the album a "meditation on distortion," and the buzzy clatter and garbled vocals of "Tied Up and Locked In" undoubtedly evince such a rumination.

BAND: Kings of Leon
SONG: "The Bandit"

Listeners ready for a Kings of Leon comeback are in luck — the first week of 2021 saw the Followill clan drop their first new songs since 2016's Walls. More a reunion than a rebirth, both cuts on the double A-side single — "The Bandit" backed with "100,000 People" — sit nicely among the act’s discography. "The Bandit" especially should tickle any Kings of Leon fan's fancy, what with that unmistakable Southern rock shuffle, a soaring Caleb Followill vocal and a dash of drama via a muted, Ennio Morricone-like orchestral hit. Each tune will be on the band's When You See Yourself, out March 5.

BAND: Matthew Sweet
SONG: "Blown Away"

The name Matthew Sweet might take older alt-rock fans back to the days of the earnest songster's impeccable '90s albums, specifically Girlfriend and 100% Fun. With Catspaw, the artist's latest solo set, Sweet gets right back into the groove with a 12-song blast of mid-tempo rock goodness. It kicks off with "Blown Away," a dirty dirge that sounds quite like many of the bands Sweet helped influence. (In the Valley of Dying Stars-era Superdrag particularly comes to mind.) That's because, well, he influenced them.

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