This week’s top songs dig into the grit and the gruff, offering up some passionately delivered complaints ranging from burnt pop to classic riot grrrl, brokenhearted indie folk to psychedelic punk. Everybody’s got something to complain about, so picking out a version for you shouldn’t be difficult. Childbirth bring the biting satire, Bikini Kill handle the playground taunting, and Dej Loaf has the lines that’ll change the minds of any haters. We recommend taking a listen to the Top 10 and airing your own grievances before you head into the weekend.
10. Psychic Blood – “Blur World”
Psychic Blood goes by Psychic Blood because the band’s real name, Psychedelic Bloodbaths, is either too wordy or too violent for the kids — who knows. But it’s a fair enough descriptor for the onslaught of percussion and feedback contained in the Massachussetts band’s new single. “Blur World”, taken from their forthcoming 12-inch release Aliens, centers Eric Outhuse’s wild, flaring drums in the mix. Frontman and guitarist Jason Vachula has to fight just to be heard above the squall of his bandmates, but it doesn’t sound like he’d have it any other way. Like any respectable noise rock band, these guys thrive on the adrenaline of bashing each other’s eardrums in. –Sasha Geffen
09. Bikini Kill – “Playground”
Dug up from the early days of Bikini Kill, “Playground” could almost be a sister song to Nirvana’s “School”. “You’re not invited to my party anymore/ My mom’s calling your mom to tell her I don’t like you,” sneers Kathleen Hanna on the newly released B-side to her band’s first tape, Revolution Girl Style Now. Hanna and Kurt Cobain were friends back in the early ‘90s, and both seem to have dipped into the same primordial sludge that would go on to stain both grunge and riot grrl. “Playground” showcases an embryonic Bikini Kill, a band still testing out its own teeth, but it carries enough heft to sound fierce and grimy even at 24 years old. –Sasha Geffen
08. Dej Loaf – “I Got Problems”
For some time, it’s looked like Detroit rapper Dej Loaf had gone the route of tourmate Nicki Minaj, whose pop instincts have come to overshadow her serious spitting. But then, here’s “I Got Problems”, an essentially hook-less romp made in collaboration with Dej’s go-to producer, DDS, whose instrumental is a shimmering soundscape just propulsive enough to launch her into full-on snapping mode. “You thought ‘Try Me’ was the only song I had, huh?” she jabs early, referencing her breakthrough hit, then proceeding with bars, bars, and more bars: “Shopping with no limit, I can’t lie, this shit terrific/ Label me a label, but my taste is so exquisite.” She could be talking about her music or her fashion sense. In the case of the former, it’s hard to deny that she’s hit upon a sound of her own — and with “I Got Problems”, she shows she doesn’t even need industry-baiting melodies to keep turning heads with it. –Michael Madden