The Weekly Wire playlist is still roaring, packed with 50 new songs each week and, here, we're recapping the Best Rock + Metal Songs of the Month for June with a mix of essential songs and choice selections from the Loudwire staff. Maybe you'll even discover a new band that rules!

The Essentials

You know these bands and you probably heard these songs the instant they came out — midnight Spotify lurkers, we see you...

  • Follow Loudwire's 'Best of the Month' playlist on Spotify here.

Alien Weaponry, “Tangaroa”
Angels & Airwaves, “Restless Souls”
At the Gates, “The Fall Into Time”
Between the Buried and Me, “Fix the Error”
Black Veil Brides, “Crimson Skies”
Bullet For My Valentine, “Knives”
Carcass, “Kelly’s Meat Emporium”
Carnifex, “Pray for Peace”
Crobot Feat. Stix Zadinia, "Everyone Dies"
Darkthrone, “Hate Cloak"
Deafheaven, “Great Mass of Color”
Dee Snider, “Time to Choose” Feat. Corpsegrinder
Employed to Serve, “Exist”
Jinjer, “Vortex”
Journey, “The Way We Used to Be”
KK’s Priest, “Sermons of the Sinner”
Light the Torch, “Let Me Fall Apart”
Lorna Shore, “To the Hellfire”
Machine Head, “Become the Firestorm”
Matt Heafy, “In Defiance”
Mayhem, “Voces Ab Alta”
Meet Me @ The Altar, “Feel a Thing”
Memphis May Fire, “Blood & Water”
Miley Cyrus, “Nothing Else Matters” (Metallica cover)
Poppy, “Eat”
Powerwolf, “Dancing With the Dead”
Quicksand, "Missile Command"
Seether, “Wasteland” (alternative version)
Sepultura, “Mask” With Devin Townsend
Sleep Token, “Alkaline”
Sleeping With Sirens, “Bloody Knuckles”
Tantric, “Living Here Without You”
Times of Grace, “Medusa”
Volbeat, “Wait a Minute My Girl”
Within Temptation, “Shed My Skin”
Wolves in the Throne Room, “Mountain Magick”


Philip Trapp

BAND: Honoré
SONG: "Top Shelf"

"Vibe check — don't you feel out of place?" That's one of the many knowing lines in the bouncy yet bleak "Top Shelf," a track on the recent debut album from Memphis, Tenn., post-hardcore upstarts Honoré. The patter might be present-day, but the sound surrounding it brings to mind the many underground acts that layered a clean singer and a screamer atop chunky guitar riffs in the aughts — which isn't a bad thing. In fact, Honoré seem content to bring that style back around while proving that Memphis is now home to a lot more than just Elvis nostalgia and soul music history.

BAND: Trend Kill Ghosts
SONG: "Phoenix"

Heavy metal is a universal language, and Brazilian power metal act Trend Kill Ghosts are just the latest South American band to start making some inroads internationally. Their latest single, "Phoenix," is the first preview of the band's upcoming second album; vocalist Diogo Nunes says the song explores "what [he] lived through in the middle of the pandemic. I believe that many of us went through this — through anxiety crises and often without a sense of improvement, sometimes thinking that nothing in our lives makes sense anymore. But when we can see for a moment who we are and how far we have come, we know from where to draw strength to be reborn stronger and show it to the world, like a phoenix."

BAND: Weezer
SONG: "Tell Me What You Want" (From Wave Break)

Late-era Weezer will die if you make them stop releasing material. At least that's what it seems like from the two new albums plus assorted odds and ends the band has released just this year. (It's only early July, folks.) But digging through the deluge can still turn up some gems, such as the outfit's latest single, the non-album "Tell Me What You Want," issued this month in conjunction with the video game Wave Break. It continues the Rivers Cuomo-led act's metal-leaning streak from this year's Van Weezer while including meta lyrics directly addressing listeners, shouting out their manager and making fun of the dorks at Pitchfork. It's super fun. And, no, Weezer will never make another Blue Album or Pinkerton.

Rabab Al-Sharif

BAND: Afterlife
SONG: “Part of Me”

Holy feels, this song will have you wiping some moisture from your eyes by the end. The emotional title track from Afterlife’s upcoming album (out Aug. 11 via Hopeless Records) reminds me of an era when artists such as Korn and Linkin Park proved that music that was both heavy and emotional could prevail. Musically the track is a slow burner, letting the raw emotion of the rapped verses shine and build up while telling the story of a broken home. If you haven’t given Afterlife a listen, now could be your last chance to say you heard them before they were all over the radio.

BAND: Death Tour

Ok, I’m going to be completely honest here: I have no idea how to describe Death Tour. A little dash of everything over the top, perhaps? The song “DESTROY,” on the other hand, is a minute and 37 seconds of pure chaos. All I can say is that I finished the track in complete confusion and then played it again. You just need to see it for yourself.

BAND: The Front Bottoms
SONG: “Voodoo Magic”

Listen, when I saw the Front Bottoms dropped a song with Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba (yes, that is the band Skiba is from) my hopes were pretty high. Luckily, I wasn’t disappointed and got the quirky, cheerful, creepy song of my dreams.

BAND: Static Dress
SONG: “sweet.”

If you are a fan of mid-2000s emo and post hardcore there’s just no way this band won’t be the most exciting thing you hear in 2021. Trust me. If someone had sent me “sweet.” and said it was a long lost gem from 2006, I would believe them. The best part? The whisper vocals right before the track explodes into the final chorus. Perfect.

BAND: Dregg
SONG: “21st Century Ignorance”

These days many of the most exciting up-and-coming bands in heavy music land somewhere at the crossroads of hardcore and nu metal. That stands true for Aussie exports Dregg, but their latest track “21st Century Ignorance” lands on the hardcore side of the spectrum offering pure, belligerent aggression with a purpose. Fuck the man.

Lauryn Schaffner

BAND: The Cold Stares
SONG: “Heavy Shoes”

I’m an absolute sucker for crunchy riffs, so The Cold Stares’ new single “Heavy Shoes” immediately drew me in like a fly to a Venus flytrap. The melody throughout the entirety of the song has an infectious groove to it, and it’s all topped off with a killer, bluesy guitar solo. Basically, if you’re really into the sound of guitars, this song is for you.

BAND: Slothrust
SONG: “Once More for the Ocean”

Despite having been told time and time again that Slothrust are basically a modern-day grunge band (which is one of my favorite eras of rock), “Once More for the Ocean” was my introduction to them. I don’t know what the hell took me so long, but I was definitely missing out. It’s upbeat and riffy, laced with some poppy undertones and Leah Wellbaum has such a soothing vocal delivery that it’s just the perfect combination of contrasting sounds. I’ll surely be digging deeper into their catalog now.

BAND: The Murlocs
SONG: “Bittersweet Demons”

This one sounds like it’s straight out of the 1960s, and I certainly love a throwback. It’s got the psychedelia of the Beatles, the piano melody of a ‘60s girl group and the drama of a Lesley Gore song all in one. Modern vintage seems to be the Murlocs’ core sound, but “Bittersweet Demons” just has a striking feel to it that makes me want to play it over and over again.

Chad Childers

BAND: Micky James
SONG: “Shiver”

Bring back the glam! There’s a definite ‘70s-inspired feeling from up-and-comer Micky James who takes the cold shoulder he’s receiving and turns it into a triumphantly infectious and upbeat feeling. Never has rejection felt so good.

BAND: Tom Morello and the Bloody Beetroots
SONG: “Radium Girls”

While guitar great Tom Morello and electro-rocker The Bloody Beetroots are credited with the track, neither actually sing. Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova, The Interrupters’ Aimee Interrupter, White Lung’s Mish Way and The Last Internationale’s Delila Paz provide the vocal power for this cut that serves as Morello’s homage to a group of young female factory workers who were subjected to heinous health hazards. The singers give the track an anthemic energy as Morello’s signature riffing and the whizzing heavy electro beats of Bloody Beetroots soundtrack this vibrant cut.

BAND: Starcrawler
SONG: “Goodtime Girl”

The Dark Nights: Death Metal soundtrack has yielded some higher profile cuts, but listeners should not overlook up-and-coming band Starcrawler and their contribution “Goodtime Girl.” This fuzzed out rocker feels like it lept off a ‘70s blacklight poster, with singer Arrow de Wilde owning the song’s title with ferocity in the chorus. Turn it up and ride the groove.

BAND: Wet Leg
SONG: “Chaise Longue”

It’s time to get to know Wet Leg, the duo of Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers who just might have given us the earworm of the year. The tongue-in-cheek but sexually charged “Chaise Longue” feels like it could be right at home in ‘80s new wave or in The Strokes’ post-2010’s electro phase, but with an undeniable guitar line and spoken word vocal, this one should be rattling around in your brain for days on end.

Graham Hartmann

BAND: Lingua Ignota
SONG: “Pennsylvania Furnace”

This may be the most beautiful song I’ve heard all year. I can’t say I was touched by Caligula like so many others were, but “Pennsylvania Furnace” turned me into an instant fan of Lingua Ignota. This mournful, operatic ballad is summer sadness in a nutshell. Even more impressively, Kristin Hayter conceived of, directed and edited this gorgeous music video herself.

BAND: Turnstile
SONG: “T.L.C. (Turnstile Love Connection)”

Turnstile is the ultimate good-vibes act of modern hardcore. Always right in the pocket with their songwriting, Turnstile’s “T.L.C.” is a big mood blend of old-meets-new-school dynamics with enthusiasm down to its DNA.

BAND: King Woman
SONG: “Morning Star”

King Woman’s high watermark always comes when apocalyptic riffs meet Kris Esfandiari’s ethereal Miserable ballads. The slow waltz of “Morning Star” is devilishly good, lulling listeners into an eerie calm before crushing power chords and rolling drums wake this beast from its slumber. If you’re a fanatic for King Woman’s debut EP, Doubt, “Morning Star” will leave you floating.

Joe DiVita

BAND: Skepticism
SONG: “Calla”

Finland’s Skepticism are one of funeral doom’s earliest pioneers and one of the few bands who truly represent the subgenre in its most absolute terms. “Calla,” taken off Companion — the band’s followup to 2016’s Ordeal — is surprisingly “fast,” at least by their own pre-existing standards of crawling, morose doom. With just guitar, keyboards, drums and vocals to guide things, Skepticism actually sound as if there’s some decades-long tension to be relieved across layered passages that intensify on the back of relatively uplifting orchestration.

BAND: Unto Others
SONG: “When Will Gods Work Be Done”

Unto Others (formerly Idle Hands, who released their powerful Mana debut in 2019) signed to Roadrunner Records and in tandem with that news, debuted a music video for their new single, “When Will Gods Work Be Done.” The group, at least here, has shed much of their classic metal identity that melded so brilliantly with goth rock on Mana and dive head-first into the bass-driven darkwave sounds of the ‘80s with a melodic sheen. And we’ll take a chorus that’s half-constructed of Danzig-style grunts every single time. UHHNNN!

BAND: Enforcer
SONG: “Kiss of Death”

I’ve been a fan of Enforcer ever since I saw their drummer, a Swede, wearing a Union Jack flag cutoff shirt in the music video for “Black Angel” in ‘08. That alone said all I needed to know about the band’s commitment to metal’s olde ways and they’ve remained, arguably, the most consistent NWOTHM (New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal) in the years since. Zenith

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