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Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Declaration Of War’ By Rumours Of War

Mark Ayling is a singer songwriter, who has worked in a number of projects, produces what he describes as “raw, aggressive, angry, acoustic punk” music. He would not necessarily characterize his work as protest music, but he does believe that punk is about having something to say.

Rumours Of War is Ayling’s latest project, and the band is based in Scotland. They recently released their “Sloganeering” EP on March 28, 2019.

The first tune on the EP, “Declaration Of War,” slowly builds as a picture is painted of society, where the rich amass all the food while those in need go hungry. It seems metaphorical because the next line declares, “Power and obsession will scratch your itch, but all the money in the world doesn’t make you rich.”

The chorus acknowledges the “impotent promises” of elites, who pledge to make citizens’ lives better “from beneath the veil of authoritarian democracy.”

“A smiling face, the disguise of the wolf at the door. This is a state declaration of war,” Ayling sings.

The anarcho-punk track depicts a world of politicians hiding in bunkers and locked down palaces. The elites fear what the rabble may do to them as they fight back against their poverty and repression.

Ayling’s influences are drawn from The Jam, New Model Army, The Specials, The Beat, Motorhead, Joy Division, and Killing Joke. He considers punk to be the kind of music Joe Strummer produced as part of The Clash.

One can hear some of these influences in “Declaration Of War.” Its warning to the elites of what is to come as a result of their class war echoes some of the best music recorded by The Clash. It also sounds a bit like a stripped-down Black Sabbath song (think “War Pigs”), and the message of “Declaration Of War” goes right to the root of class struggle.

Listen to “Declaration Of War” by Rumours Of War:

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Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."