’MURICA: 13 Songs For Crushing Beers And Blowing Shit Up This 4th Of July
Because the United States is such a huge melting pot, it’s hard to lock down exactly what “American culture” is. For many, the things that are quintessentially American come from the many nations whose citizens have immigrated here. Yet throughout it all, there is an undercurrent of liberty, acceptance, and justice — at least, in America’s nobler moments — that seems to unite these many unique ways of life under one star-spangled banner.
’Murican culture, on the other hand, is easy to lock down: It’s big trucks, big boobs, ice-cold beer and illegal fireworks. It’s about eating a foot-long and skulling a coldie after you’ve had a threesome with a mountain lion and the Statue Of Liberty. Even as the face of America changes in ways we sometimes might not be able to recognize, ’Murica will always be there, its camo shorts flapping in the breeze as it refers to every living thing on earth as ‘brother’ and pisses in an empty in the parking lot of a Sonic.
This 4th of July, Kerrang!’s U.S. team decided to celebrate their independence by putting together a playlist of the biggest, loudest, ’Muricanest metal tracks they could find (you might notice there aren’t a ton of women on this list, but that might be because ’Murica hasn’t always given women the same “Fuck yeah, I’m free” feelings as it has with the men).
Here are 13 songs — one for each stripe on the goddamn flag — to go full ’Murica to…
Pantera – Walk
FUCK YEAH, BROTHER! It don’t get more ’Murica than Pantera’s Walk, a song about tradition, being true to one’s self, and telling people who try to hold you down to eat your ass and all its spices. On top of that, this song’s got the biggest, sweatiest riff of all time — it ain’t even multiple notes, either, it’s one note and then the same one but bent a little. That’s rue American craftsmanship right there. Getcha pull!
Metallica – Don’t Tread On Me
The Hell you ain’t gonna be blasting some ’Tal this July 4th! And there’s no album more perfect for Independence Day than the Black Album, where the Horsemen just went full bicep-tattoo and traded raging thrash for big ol’ biker riffs. This track is a declaration of America’s time-honored tradition of not letting anyone fuck with it. And hey, it also features a cameo by a melody from Stephen Sondheim’s West Side Story. That’s high culture, brother!
Godsmack – I Stand Alone
All real Americans know that sometimes you gotta stand solo, even when the rest of the world tells you to fall in line or put some pants on. Thankfully, sweet Mother America gave us Godsmack, everyone’s favorite Wiccan biker band, and they wrote an anthem for everyone who has to walk alone in this messed-up world. How good is this band? The U.S. fuckin’ Army even included Godsmack songs in their promotional materials. Shit yeah.
Hatebreed – I Will Be Heard
No song sounds quite like taking a punch in the jaw and getting back up like I Will Be Heard! Hatebreed will always be ’Murica’s hardcore band, bringing all the rebellious anger, thousand-ton riffs, and uplifting lyrics about smashing shit that this country requires. This track also has a part where you can shout a furious affirmation into the air, which is pretty much the ultimate ‘Murican pastime.
Kid Rock – Bawitaba
What, you need real words in your rock’n’roll? Fuck that noise to death, Clyde — Kid Rock’s all about some weird-ass scat-type jibber-jabber, and he’s proud of it. And you can talk all the shit you want, but making up rhythmic nonsense has been a vital part of American rock music since Nat King Cole first ordered a heaping plate of frim fram sauce. Don’t tell me how to talk, dickfor!
Black Label Society – Fire It Up
Ungh. UNGH. God DAMN, this song’s opening is just the sickest. The central riff is tasty as Hell, and the kick automatically wrecks your neck. This is the kind of Black Label Society track you gotta blast out of your car while doing donuts in a parking lot and smoking a joint the size of a tampon. Burn that motherfucker DOWN, son!
Clutch – How To Shake Hands
If there’s one thing more ’Murican than a lubed-up stripper pounding a burger (male, female, or nonbinary stripper, mind you — ’Murica is a place where everyone gets laid, no matter their gender or sexual orientation), it’s fuckin’ DEMOCRACY. On this track, Maryland boogie kings Clutch give us a look at what it would be like if frontman Neil Fallon ran for president. His policies are pretty sound — put Jimi Hendrix on the $20 bill and have live music in the White House. Time to boot the Great Pumpkin out of office and get us an ass-shaking president!
Mondo Generator – F.Y. I’m Free
Is there anything more ’Murican than rolling down all of the windows on your shitty truck and screaming about how fucking free you are? Emphatic NO, motherfuckers. And that’s exactly what you should be doing while you blast this classic Mondo Generator barn burner. Great for breakups, quitting your job, and rolling up to the 4th of July BBQ with three grocery bags of sweaty potato salad.
Rob Zombie – Demon Speeding
Even when he’s writing about werewolves showing their buttholes to carnival freaks, Rob Zombie’s giant-sized jerk jams always sound ‘Murican as the dickens. On Demon Speeding, the king of modern shock and aw-yeah comes at you with a big, stomping track about how fucking rad he is, with each verse focused around the line, ‘Get into my world, all-American dream.’ We’re here for it, Rob!
Kyuss – Big Bikes
You’d be hard pressed to find anything more got-dang ’Murican than a sick-ass riff in a song about about biker chicks in dusty leather with big-ass Harleys between their legs. The Kyuss boys were, like, 15 when they wrote this song, which contains the drunk-off-cheap-beer chorus, ‘I want some pussy from a bad bitch on a big bike!’ Rumor has it the track became a huge hit amongst the bikers in Palm Desert who heard it on the local radio station, and they got super pissed when they turned up at shows and saw scrawny-ass Josh Homme and Brant Bjork playing it. Dreaming about biker babes when you’ve probably never fucked: Now that’s ‘Murican.
Saliva – Click Click Boom
Now, look, this song ain’t specifically about guns. In fact, it’s about something way more ’Murican: going through hell and not whining about it. Saliva frontman Josey Scott sings about how his life wasn’t perfect, ‘But still you don’t hear no cryin’ ass bitchin’ from me / Like there seems to be on everybody’s CD.’ So, actually, this track has plenty of personal emotions at its core. But, you know, also…fucking GUNS, son!
Weedeater – Gimme Back My Bullets
Lynyrd Skynyrd might be the ultimate ’Murican band, but by today’s standards, they ain’t that hard. So rather than leave them off this list, we chose the next best thing: North Carolina’s Weedeater covering one of their classics. Turn that shit up to 11 while you sit on your front porch, eight bourbons deep, and fire a few rounds at some cans. Just try not to do what frontman Dixie Dave did and shoot your toe off with your favorite shotgun!
Nashville Pussy – Go To Hell
Most of Nashville Pussy’s songs are about drinking, fighting, and fucking — three things as ‘Murican as D-grade hotdog meat. But ‘Murica also loves a good ol’ tale of revenge. And that’s exactly what Go To Hell is: an anthem about a dude who catches his wife with ‘a smile on her face and a dick in each hand’ — and goes home to grab his .44. Presumably, he shoots her, but he never comes out and says it in his song, so it’s possible he just drives off into the sunset. We’re just glad she was having a good time!
Read this next:
Krill ’em all! A “worm-like” crustacean discovered in the northern Pacific has been named after Metallica.
Another slice of goodness from U.S. alt.rock hero Greg Dulli on Random Desire