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Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Paranoid Core’ By Mudhoney

When looking at the historical developments of grunge and the alternative rock explosion of the 1990s, it is hard to deny the impact Mudhoney played in helping to draw the blueprints that more commercially successful bands have followed.

Mudhoney is currently celebrating their thirtieth anniversary and have recently released their tenth full-length album, “Digital Garbage.”

From time to time, Mudhoney has explored political subjects. In 1995, they recorded “F.D.K. (Fearless Doctor Killers)” protesting the killing of abortion doctors. In 2006, they recorded the anti-war tune “Hard-On for War.”

With song titles such as “Please Mr. Gunman,” “Kill Yourself Live,” “21st Century Pharisees,” “Prosperity Gospel” and “Next Mass Extinction,” Digital Garbage is by far the band’s most political album. It deals with subjects such as religious hypocrisy, greed, gun violence, and the dangers of social media.

Many of the songs approach these subjects with the biting humor that lead singer and main lyricist Mark Arm is known for. “My sense of humor is dark, and these are dark times,” Arm said in a press release.

One of the album’s highlights is “Paranoid Core.” It takes aim at paranoia-based conspiracy theories. It addresses how government, media, and other special interest groups try to exploit people’s fears.

For example, lyrics such as, “They’re bringing drugs, they’ll rape your mom,” and “Government camps, Sharia Law,” highlights the fears that contribute to anti-immigration views and motivate citizens to “stockpile guns.”

The song concludes with the poignant line, “I feed on your fear.”

It is fear that leads to hatred and distrust. Bringing an end to irrational fears is one of the first steps in solving many of the problems that currently plague humankind.

Listen to “Paranoid Core” by Mudhoney:

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CJ Baker

CJ Baker

CJ Baker is a lifelong music fan and published writer. He recently started a website chronicling the historical developments of protest music: ongoinghistoryofprotestsongs.com, and can be found on Twitter @tunesofprotest