I remember when I was about 16 I went to a concert to see Stone Sour. I wasn’t familiar with the band outside of knowing that Corey Taylor was the lead singer of Slipknot and this band was his foray into the more mainstream, mask-free rockstar life.
The band had just released their self-titled album that featured “Bother”, which was from the Spiderman 3 soundtrack and was more of a ballad than a rock tune. I remember having expectations of the show being on the tame side – man was I wrong. From the time Stone Sour opened with “Get Inside” (which to this day is one of my favorite tunes by the band), I knew we were in for a metal show. And I was stoked. My friends that came with me, not so much. They were there to see “Bother”. They were there for what we heard on the radio. What we were getting was much, much heavier.
The reason I tell this story is because Stone Sour was in 2002 what Bad Wolves is in 2018. Bad Wolves has done an awesome job doing what few bands have been able to do: find commercial success with a cover before releasing a single of their own and then following it up with another single that lands on the charts (Honestly, I PREVAIL is the only other example that comes to mind).
For those of you who don’t know, Bad Wolves is the band that recently released the massive cover of the 1994 song “Zombie” from the Cranberries. Delores O’Riordan was actually set to add vocals to the track one day after her untimely passing earlier in the year. “Zombie” has always been a pop-rock, post-grunge cult favorite. And the Bad Wolves cover is tremendous.
The band followed up their success by releasing the catchy, poppy track “Hear Me Now” with pop rock artist Diamante. But the two songs you have probably heard from Bad Wolves paint about the same picture of the band as if you had listened to “Bother” and bought tickets to see Stone Sour…
Disobey is a very heavy album. It is very politically charged, it is fast, and it is in your face. Even “Hear Me Now”, which is on pop radio with a guest appearance is much heavier on the sans-Diamante album version. “Zombie” is obviously a politically charged track and was great for this band to cover. But the other 11 tracks are enticing, heavy, and deep.
The album starts with “Officer Down”, a protest against police brutality. The song has come under fire for using “the N word” as it highlights racism, inequality, and the fear that is a part of our daily culture. “Jesus Slaves” is one of the heaviest tracks on the album and is one of my favorite anthems. It has a really strong bass line that gets my heart pumping and I cannot get enough of this song! The album also has another song that may be destined for radio, “Remember When”, which is a song about drug addiction and loss.
Each song on the album takes a political stance against an issue that is currently being played out in the country. These guys have a voice. And they are smart as hell. Not only lyrically, but in their presentation.
Stone Sour is one of the biggest crossover bands in the world right now. They are heavy, but have mass appeal. Songs like “Bother” and “Through Glass” got them the exposure, but their hard and heavy follow ups have kept them relevant. So, yeah, maybe Bad Wolves got on the map a little differently. And maybe they have a few poppy tracks. But this is a metal band through and through. And a damn good one!
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