10 Anti-Authority Anthems To Blast When You Get Pulled Over
The feeling of defeat is a harsh one. Thankfully, punk and rock music have always existed to remedy it as the most effective cure. So when red and blue lights blink in your rearview mirror, your heart races, and the anxiety or frustration is too much to handle, the radio will come in handy. The anti-authority jams below might not be able to satiate your desire for anarchy — but they can certainly help alleviate your rage after getting handed a ticket.
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE - KILLING IN THE NAME
If singing along to Rage Against The Machine’s iconic “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!” line with a fist in the air didn’t turn you into a revolutionary the first time you heard this track, you’re doing it wrong. If you get pulled over, few tracks will make you feel better to blast as you drive away.
SURFBORT - ACAB
Well, this is a given. Surfbort are one of the most confrontational punk bands out there right now, with their debut album Friendship containing songs with eye-catching titles like White People and Pretty Little Fucker. Of course they have a song called ACAB — a nod to the phrase spray-painted all over every city, “All cops are bastards.” The song is taut and straightforward, half of it jamming with the catchy chant of “A‑C-A‑B” into a scream — the most accurate portrayal of this frustration.
DEAD KENNEDYS - POLICE TRUCK
The Dead Kennedys don’t like authority, to put it lightly, and this track is just one of many instances of them exposing the faults of the system. Jello Biafra sings from the point of view of a cop: “Tonight’s the night that we got the truck / We’re going downtown, gonna beat up drunks / Your turn to drive, I’ll bring the beer / It’s an easy shift, no one to fear.”
AGNOSTIC FRONT - POLICE STATE
Agnostic Front are always trying to start a riot. The revolutionary fever is especially infectious with this fast chant: “New York police state / New York police state / New York police state / New York police state / New York behave you / New York behave you / New York behave you!” followed by the freeing, “Giuliani, Giuliani, Giuliani fuck you!” If you get pulled over, especially in New York, this one feels especially vindicating.
BLACK FLAG - POLICE STORY
“Fucking city is run by pigs,” Henry Rollins roars in exhasperation within the first few seconds of this Black Flag track. “I flip them off /They hit me across the head with a billyclub / Understand, we’re fighting a war we can’t win / They hate us, we hate them.” It’s a little defeated, but the chaotic riffs break through like a riot and the vocals are full of resentment. “Gonna fucking pay, motherfuckers gonna pay!”
LEFTOVER CRACK - GANG CONTROL
It doesn’t take a scholar to determine that New York ska punks Leftover Crack aren’t too fond of cops. “Fuck the police, they’re gang control,” they declare in this track. “We’ve gotta tear it down / Everyone, get up and let’s go / Around the globe, it’s outta hand / From the States out to Iran / Across the ocean and back again / England, Zaire and Japan!” Now that’s a revolution.
THE OFFSPRING - LAPD
The Offspring didn’t hold back on this track whose lyrics read like an exposé: “They’re shooting anyone who even tries to run / They’re shooting little kids with toy guns / Take it to a jury but they don’t give a damn / Because the one who tells the truth is always the policeman.” It may have been released in the ‘90s, but it still feels just as good to listen to today.
THE CLASH - POLICE & THIEVES
This Clash song was originally a reggae track by Junior Murvin. “Police and thieves in the street / Fighting the nation with their guns and ammunition / Police and thieves in the street / Scaring the nation with their guns and ammunition,” he laments.
STRAY FROM THE PATH - BADGE AND A BULLET PART II
Stray For The Path have a way of blending hardcore and hip-hop, and it’s showcased best on this track that commences with the rap: “It may not be about race but it is about color / May have most of them fooled but not me motherfucker.” It feels reminiscent of the aforementioned Killing In The Name, as whispers turn to screams during the repeated chant of “Trained to never trust us, trust us / So where the fuck is the justice?” into the important question: “Which side are you walking on? / Which side, tell me which side?”
INCENDIARY - FORCE OF NEGLECT
This Incendiary song pays homage to Kelly Thomas, a mentally ill homeless man who was tased repeatedly by police and beaten with a flashlight in 2013. He died a few days later. “You’ll never forget his face, we’ll always remember his name,” they yell with necessary anger following recordings of people describing the tragedy with shock. “Society accepts this force of neglect / The marginalized and weak, those without a voice to speak / You killed the very person that you swore to protect.”