BY BRIAN CAMPBELL
As you’ve all surely experienced over the last month plus of our current Coronavirus quarantine, there are only a finite amount of things to do while we’re all staying at home—clean and organize your house, binge watch Netflix, exercise, sleep, eat, drink (heavily), and listen to music. And no matter what activity from that list you choose to partake in, music is the perfect accompaniment. Hell, music is the perfect companion to anything you do, anytime, anyplace.
But the question is, what should you be listening to?
There really is no wrong answer. Well, there is actually, but I won’t get into that. I scoured my playlists, as well as some of the playlists I frequent for tasty jams, and put all of those tracks into one handy resource for you to enhance your quarantine soundtrack. Pro tip: beer enhances this playlist. So read on, crack a few cold ones, open up Spotify, and forget for a few minutes just how shitty things are outside your front door. Cheers.
Killswitch Engage – “We Carry On” (Incarnate)
I’d be hard-pressed to write a list like this and not have a track from Killswitch Engage—one of the best bands in the world right now. Spurred on by the amazing acoustic quarantine cover of this Incarnate track, the band just released “We Carry On,” my choice to help you get through another day. The bars are perfection—“Somehow through it all, we carry on, raise you up when you fall, we carry on.” And isn’t that what we are all striving to do right now?
A Day To Remember – “Resentment” (You’re Welcome)
With lines like, “I can’t stop feeling like every day’s exactly the same, with a one track mind I don’t think I can change, trapped in memories, stuck on replay, replay, replay,” it was an easy choice to include A Day To Remember’s newest tune “Resentment” on this list. Those words reverberate right now, don’t they? Sleep, coffee, work, beer, repeat. Or maybe that’s just me? Sure, it’s one of their poppier tunes, but this thing is still a fucking banger at its core.
Deftones – “Bored” (Adrenaline)
“Bored,” Deftones’ aptly titled opening salvo off their 1995 opus Adrenaline, fucking rips. Plain and simple. Yes, I did just include this track because of its name. Who cares? If nothing else, this list might inspire you to dust this record off for another worthy spin and that’s all I’m really trying to accomplish here. And if you are in fact truly bored, flip Adrenaline over to “Engine No. 9” and just fucking rage. You’re welcome. Living room mosh pits encouraged.
Sw1tched – “Wrongside” (Subject to Change)
If you didn’t know, Sw1tched, one of the most underrated and often overlooked bands of the nu metal era, released an absolute killer of an album in Subject to Change in 2001. If you’re anything like me, you echo the words of frontman Ben Schigel during “Wrongside’s” bridge—“Every morning I wake up on the wrong side.”
Type O Negative – “Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare-All)” (Bloody Kisses)
There are so many options when it comes to Type O Negative, but I went with “Black No. 1” because Peter Steele’s pitch-perfect vampiric annunciation of each syllable to open this track is both haunting and flawlessness. The underlying riff is an earworm if there ever was one, and it’s nearly impossible to not try and sing-along to the chorus. And it’s over 11 minutes long, so that’s cool.
40 Below Summer – “Self Medicate” (The Mourning After)
From food, beer, and whiskey to vodka and naps, I have been self-medicating a lot during this quarantine. As 40 Below Summer sings on their most successful mainstream track of the same name from 2003’s The Mourning After, “Can you hear yourself, free yourself, fuck yourself, can you fix yourself, fill yourself, trust yourself, cloud your vision,” I’m reminded that I need to go get another beer.
As I Lay Dying – “Confined” / “The Darkest Nights” (Shadows Are Security)
I went with two of the best tracks on Shadows Are Security, the first of which being “Confined.” These lines truly resonate—“In the confines of these grey walls, I watched them move together.” This track features some of As I Lay Dying’s best melodic vocal work, so sit back and enjoy, preferably with a cold beer in hand.
Pretty much the entirely of “The Darkest Nights” is easy to relate to right now, but take for example, the opening verse—“For so long I have felt alone, content to live with unrest, longing faded into countless nights, that buried my weary heart, but you brought an end, to this dead hour, and meaning to a calloused life.” Plus, this song fucks, so it belongs on this list.
DED – “Anti-Everything” (Mis-An Thrope)
Everything’s closed, there’s nowhere to go, and we are all stuck inside our homes. It’s safe to assume that we have all felt the same way as DED on their excellent track “Anti-Everything.” I mean, I don’t know about you, but sometimes I wake up on the wrong side of the bed and can’t help but have this song playing over and over in my head—“You won’t take me alive, I’d rather die than live in this prison, I am anti-everything, done being kind, I draw the line.” I can’t be the only one, right?
Vein – “Virus: //Vibrance” (Errorzone)
I couldn’t write this list and not include something so viscerally heavy and utterly uncompromising like Vein’s ode to noise “Virus: //Vibrance,” a two minute guttural blast of venomous clatter. This is the kind of track, hell, the same goes for their entire Errorzone record, that makes you want to put on your headphones and just let the outside world melt away.
Avatar – “For the Swarm” (Feathers & Flesh)
“For the Swarm,” one of Avatar’s most intrepid little ditties, is tailor made for this list. With everyone working from home and just rolling out of bed and pouring themselves in front of a laptop, you could easily find yourself muttering incoherently, “Gotta go work, work, work, work, gotta work, gotta go work, work, work, work, gotta work, gotta go work, work, work, work, gotta work, busy, busy, there’s so much to do here.”
Spineshank – “New Disease” (The Height of Callousness)
To be fair, this one seems like a bit of a layup. A song called “New Disease” on a list of songs to help get your through a quarantine caused by a new disease. Regardless, this tune is one of the best that Spineshank, a criminally underrated act from the nu metal heyday, ever produced. It’s heavy, industrial, and just the right amount of melodic that you can sing-along.