In the song and the video — a veritable Ludovico treatment of protests, authoritarian brutality and war, color-corrected to stark red, white and blue — the band makes no bones about it: There are political songs, and then there’s this. You might have caught Denver’s Bad Licks opening for Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats’ last Denver show at the Ogden Theatre (the one where the band got a whole day named after them). “I think the trend in music in 2017 will be a lot of protest songs, maybe a surge of punk/hardcore,” frontman and videographer Rett Rogers said in an email. The manic offspring of the Night Sweats, the bayou-born Rootbeer & Mermentau and fuzz overlords Blue Rider, the pressure-cooker psych band formed at the beginning of 2016 after members Alex Eschen, Mark Shusterman, Rett Rogers, “Rootbeer” Ritchie and Aaron Collins decided to record a few sweaty demos in the basement of the Hi-Dive. “People on all sides are angry and artists are going to reflect these turbulent times.”
Check out the music video above, and listen to more Bad Licks via Bandcamp. “Set Them On Fire” is the spruced-up version of one of those demos.