This edition of Songs You Should Hear is not for the faint of heart—it’s full of songs that make you feel like the bad guy, the villain in your own story. With heavy beats and menacing lyrics, these tracks will make you feel powerful, dangerous and ready to take on the world. From metal to hip hop to electronic, the genres on this playlist are diverse, but they all share a sense of darkness and aggression, or just make you feel like a badass.
Chemical Overreaction / Compound Fracture by Will Wood and the Tapeworms
Will Wood is a singer-songwriter who is known for his eclectic style, combining elements of rock, pop and cabaret music. His song “Chemical Overreaction/Compound Fracture” from the album “Everything is a lot” is a highlight from his “before fame” era. He was described best in his UkeTabs bio, “Will Wood appeared out of nowhere, stumbling out of a hallucinogenic haze in 2015,” when the song, and album, were released. It explores themes of mental illness and self-discovery, common within his work, as he has struggled with bipolar disorder and addiction. The song begins with an eerie, atmospheric intro before launching into a high-energy rock section featuring Wood’s dynamic vocals and intricate instrumentation. The lyrics delve into the dark and complex emotions of someone struggling with mental illness, addressing the difficulty of accepting help and the fear of being vulnerable. “Chemical Overreaction/Compound Fracture” showcases Wood’s raw and emotional songwriting, and his ability to create music that is both catchy and thought-provoking.
OG! by JPEGMAFIA
Barrington DeVaughn Hendricks, also known as his stage name JPEGMAFIA, is an experimental rapper, producer and artist hailing from Brooklyn, New York. Known for his abrasive, confrontational style, JPEGMAFIA has gained a reputation as one of the most innovative artists in modern hip hop. His song “OG!” is a prime example of his unique sound, featuring glitchy, distorted beats and aggressive, poetic bars that challenge the listener. The track is a standout from his 2021 album, LP! and showcases his ability to push boundaries and defy expectations. With his unconventional sound and uncompromising vision, JPEGMAFIA has become a leading figure in the underground rap scene and a force to be reckoned with in the music world.
Break Stuff by Limp Bizkit
“Break Stuff” is a song by the American rap rock band Limp Bizkit, released in 2000 as a single from their album, Significant Other. The song’s aggressive lyrics and heavy guitar riffs have made it a popular anthem for fans of nu metal and alternative rock. The chorus of the song encourages listeners to “break stuff” and give in to their anger, making it a cathartic release for many who are feeling frustrated or powerless. Limp Bizkit, fronted by vocalist Fred Durst, rose to fame in the late ‘90s with their blend of rap, metal and punk influences, and “Break Stuff” became one of their biggest hits. While the band has faced criticism over the years for their controversial lyrics and behavior, their impact on the nu metal genre and the rock music scene as a whole cannot be denied.
Pass the Nirvana by Pierce the Veil
Pierce the Veil is a post-hardcore band from San Diego, California, known for their high-energy live shows and unique blend of punk, metal and emo influences. The band was formed in 2006 by brothers Vic and Mike Fuentes, and has since released four studio albums and earned a devoted fanbase. Pierce the Veil’s music has had a major impact on alternative communities, and their most recent song, “Pass the Nirvana,” a single which was released in 2022, was an exciting and surprising hit. Many fans and critics cite their music as a defining example of the genre’s blending of punk and metal influences. Pierce the Veil has also been praised for their commitment to social issues, including mental health awareness and LGBTQ+ rights. They currently have five studio albums and a couple major hits including “King for a Day” and “Bulls in the Bronx,” which have become classics among listeners. With the release of “Pass the Nirvana,” many fans have speculated about an upcoming album, but they’ll have to wait and see.
Ruler of Everything by Tally Hall
Michigan-based indie rock band Tally Hall has garnered renewed attention recently due to the popularity of their song “Ruler of Everything” on social media app TikTok. The song, which was released on the band’s 2005 debut album Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum, has become a viral sensation thanks to its catchy chorus and quirky lyrics. “Ruler of Everything” has been used in over 180,000 TikTok videos, and even became a popular animation meme in YouTube art communities. While Tally Hall has been on hiatus since 2011, the success of “Ruler of Everything” on TikTok has introduced the band’s music to a new generation of fans and sparked hopes of a reunion which will most likely not happen as many members have moved on from the group. One of the members, drummer Ross Federman, even played a key role in the coronavirus pandemic as he went on to get his PHD as an immunologist after the band split.